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MEET 18 Yukino Ochiai 26 Shota Sato and Luke Hanzlicek 37 Olivier Monin 50 Melissa Fettke
62 Samantha Payne 74 Joy Spence
6 On-Trend 64 Kombucha
78 Social Media
10 Japanese Sake
20 Osaka Trading Co. 58 Moorabool Valley
8 Editorâ€™s Picks 68 Sake Bars 16 Sake Recommendations
28 Japanese Cocktail Recipes
76 Gifts & Gadgets
52 Autumn Red Wines
80 Last Drinks
We love autumn here at explore DRINKS. In fact, we love any change in season, inviting a new focus on ingredients and colours in our drinks, food, at home and out and about. Autumn is particularly exciting though; after those long, unabating hot summer days, it’s a relief to feel the temperature drop and start spending time, guiltfree, catching up on the things we love at home – trying new recipes in the kitchen and catching up with friends and family. One country that has built its cuisine around the seasons, and the theme of this issue if you haven’t already guessed it - is Japan. Both in drinks and dishes, Japanese people will use seasonal ingredients wherever possible, inviting a discovery of new flavours all the time. You can find some of these in our Japanese cocktail recipes starting on page 28. Editor Hannah Sparks visited this mesmerising country in February, which is also winter, when production of its iconic rice beverage, sake, is at its busiest. We couldn’t wait to share her magical journey of this ancient world and tipple with you, starting on page 10. As we mentioned, we love kicking back and staying local in autumn and that’s why we’ve gone no further afield than Australia for our travel bars. Staying in theme, we explore the burgeoning number of Japan's izakaya bars that have made it down-under. Check out our venue in focus, Osaka Trading Co., on page 20 and all the others on page 68 onwards.
Another focus in this issue is women. Thankfully, industries like wine, cider and spirits are seeing more women get involved, but that hasn’t always been the case. We celebrate and discover the stories of Yukino Ochiai (our very own Sake Samurai p. 18), Melissa Fettke (cider maker p. 50), Samantha Payne (sommelier p.62) and Joy Spence (rum Master Blender p.74). A drink that’s trending right now is kombucha. We love it but we're still a little confused about exactly what it is. So, we sent Associate Editor Stephanie Aikins off on a quest to meet the couples and friends making their own here and to find out just what this delicious drink is all about. The ever-entertaining Ben Canaider turns our pages 50 shades of red with his run-down on red wines to drink this autumn on page 52. And if you keep reading, you’ll stumble across Victoria’s secret wine region on page 58. We’ve also got the in-cider (pun intended) on cider makers crafting delicious drops from local apples on page 38 onwards. Can't wait for the next issue? Don't forget there's more online at www.exploredrinks.com Cheers, or should I say, kampai!
EDITORIAL Publishing Editor | Ashley Pini firstname.lastname@example.org Editor | Hannah Sparks email@example.com
ADMINISTRATION Accountant | Melinda Virgona PHOTOGRAPHY Ryan Stuart
Production Manager | Sasha Falloon
CONTRIBUTORS Cider | Max Allen Wine | Ben Canaider Wine | Kirstie Bedford
DESIGN Senior Designer | Racs Salcedo
DRINKS Drinks Curator | Ben Davidson
Associate Editor | Stephanie Aikins firstname.lastname@example.org
SALES I ADVERTISING National Sales Manager I Tim Ludlow Sales Manager I Daire Dalton
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F O R M O R E I N F O R M A T I O N O R T O P L A C E A N D O R D E R , P L E A S E C A L L YO U R ASAHI PREMIUM BEVERAGES REPRESENTATIVE OR CUSTOMER SERVICE ON 1800 090 378
trends, competitions, We’ve put together a snapshot of the latest p you up-to-date upcoming events and venue openings to kee ks. with what’s new in the wonderful world of drin
NEW: FOUR PILLARS BARREL AGED GIN RANGE Four Pillars has expanded its barrel-aged gin range with the release of a Sherry Cask Gin. Aged for a year using 42 ex-sherry barrels from 15 to 25 years of age, the new gin has notes of deep cassia, star-anise, dried fruits and nuts, with hints of pine needles and crushed coriander. The Sherry Cask Gin joins the Chardonnay Barrel Gin (formerly known as the Barrel Aged Gin) and the Christmas Gin in the Four Pillars barrel aged portfolio.
WIN: 4 PINES SPACE BEER ZERO GRAVITY EXPERIENCE 4 Pines Brewing Company has announced a competition prize that is literally out of this world. For seven years, the brewers have been working with Saber Astronautics in the U.S. to create a beer that can be drunk in space, and they want to test it on you. They’re offering one lucky winner return flights to Cape Canaveral, Florida; three nights accommodation and a seat on a zero-gravity research flight, 32,000 feet above Earth to drink their space beer prototype. To enter, complete a 50-word essay and make a pledge to purchase a space beer bottle for $90USD at the Vostock Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign launching in April. To read more about the competition, go to the website www.vostokspacebeer.com/competition.
VISIT: GRAMPIANS GRAPE ESCAPE Looking for an escape from city life? Head to Grampians in Victoria this May for the Grape Escape, a two-day food and wine event where you can meet the makers, taste fresh local produce, graze from dozens of food trucks and wine stalls, jump in on immersive masterclasses and enjoy live music. Adult tickets range from $30-$110 depending on your chosen activities and can be purchased from: www.grampiansgrapeescape.com.au
TRY: GINKIT ARTISAN GIN MAKING KIT Looking for something different to do this weekend? Why not turn that basic bottle of vodka (yes, vodka) you have lying around into your own bespoke gin? With GINKIT you can create a unique artisanal gin in under 36 hours! The kit includes hand-selected aromatic juniper berries, mixed spices and custommade copper hardware to transform your base spirit in just six steps. The kit is priced at $54 and can be purchased at www.ginkit.com.au.
.D WEEK VISIT: ORANGE F.O.O e festival is
win ng regional food and Australia’s longest-runni duce and wine of pro al loc lity qua ebrating the –a returning this April, cel nts will include Forage region. The week of eve enin Orange’s cool climate a by ed , follow nge’s stunning vineyards 4.1km walk through Ora ; the Autumn Grazing tes pla ting tas nu of wine and ch course degustation me a night market and mu ue village of Blayney; to Dinner in the picturesq go , ets tick r se you the events and purcha more. To read up on all . .au com ek. we ood www.orangef
VISIT: BAR PATRÓN
Sydney’s premier restaurant group, Rockpool Dining Group, has joined with global tequila brand, Patrón, for a unique fine dining experience that draws on all the things we love about Mexico. With a menu that features all your favourite colourful dishes and a cocktail list of Mexican classics spiced up with a few Patrón bespoke serves, this is one fiesta that Sydneysiders need to salsa on down to.
BUY: NESPRESSO LATISSIMA ONE Nespresso and De’Longhi have announced the launch of The Latissima One. An update on the existing Latissima range, the new machine allows users to pick from milk measurements with just one touch, ensuring the exact quantity of milk is poured to avoid wastage. It also allows users to personalise and experiment with coffee styles, from espresso to a creamy latte or frothy cappuccino. The Latissima One retails for $399 and is available at Nespresso boutiques, key appliance retailers and www.nespresso.com.
EDITOR’S PICKS As we get over the shock of saying goodbye to summer, we turn our thoughts to winter getaways and evenings by an open fireplace, enjoying a flavoursome wine. Here are explore DRINKS Publishing Editor Ashley Pini’s picks for this time of year.
$20 and Below YALUMBA THE Y SERIES VIOGNIER 2018
RUTHERGLEN ESTATES NV MUSCAT
RRP: $15 Region: South Australia Editor’s note: Viognier is the perfect white varietal for autumn. Aromas of orange blossom, fresh ginger and honeysuckle are followed by flavours of pineapple, Chinese white tea and dried fig.
RRP: $22 Region: Rutherglen Editor’s note: A deliciously warming wine. Fresh and complex. Raisins, toffee, caramel, butterscotch, dried fruit and nuts.
BROWN BROTHERS PROSECCO
STONIER PINOT NOIR 2016
RRP: $18.99 Region: King Valley Editor’s note: We firmly believe sparkling is for anytime of year and you can’t beat the value of this wine. This is fresh and vibrant with delicate aromas of pear and apple.
RRP: $24.99 Region: Mornington Peninsula Editor’s note: Distinctive sappy cherry and cola aromas. An approachable wine, with red berry and spice flavours, fresh acidity and fine, firm tannins.
TAYLORS ESTATE TEMPRANILLO 2017
MCGUIGAN THE SHORTLIST RIESLING 2017
RRP: $19 Region: Clare Valley and McLaren Vale Editor’s note: A bright, mediumbodied wine with lots of juicy red fruits and a balanced mouthfeel. Very enjoyable.
$30 and Below
RRP: $28.99 Region: Eden Valley Editor’s note: Riesling, for me, is great in any season. This is a fuller style of the varietal, with aromas and flavour in balance - citrus, floral and a hint of spice.
$40 and Below MOUNT PLEASANT ELIZABETH CELLAR AGED SEMILLON 2009 RRP: $35 Region: Hunter Valley Editor’s note: This is a wine to get excited about. Aged semillon doesn’t get better than this. It has toasty and honey characters on the nose and a rich, vibrant and zesty palate.
$50 and Over ST HUGO BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2014 RRP: $54.99 Region: Barossa Valley Editor’s note: A very dense and rich wine. On the nose, there is a ripe cherry note with lifted oak to support. The palate has dense fruit flavours, big tannins and a long finish.
YES SAID THE SEAL 2016 PINOT NOIR
VIDAL LEGACY CHARDONNAY 2016
RRP: $38 Region: Bellarine Peninsula Editor’s note: This wine was named Australia’s best pinot noir last year. It has opulent cherry spice and red berry aromas, and is soft and easy to drink with juicy fruit flavour.
RRP: $55 Region: Hawke’s Bay Editor’s note: An ageworthy chardonnay. Complex, flinty notes are the signature of this flagship wine, plus citrus, pink grapefruit and roasted nuts.
DEVIL’S LAIR CHARDONNAY 2015
GRANT BURGE SHADRACH CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010
RRP: $39 Region: Margaret River Editor’s note: I love a flavoursome chardonnay in autumn. This is layered with lemon meringue, pink grapefruit and vanilla nougat aromas, plus melon, pear and oak flavours.
RRP: $91.99 Region: Barossa Editor’s note: You can’t miss a good cabernet at this time of year, and this is an iconic Australian wine. Concentrated aromas of blackcurrant, dark chocolate, eucalyptus and mint, plus flavours of spicy berry fruit and liquorice.
WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN:
JAPANESE SAKE Japan’s ancient world of sake is a new discovery for international drinkers. Understand a nation’s history, landscape, culture, traditions and cuisine in an iconic tipple. WORDS HANNAH SPARKS
It’s seven in the morning and I can only feel about two of my toes. I’ve been standing here for the last 15 minutes watching two young men stare up at a large, metal, industrial humming machine (sadly, there’s not much sexy about it). We’re all waiting for something, partially for the hangover from last night’s sake indulgence to dissipate… A worker shouts out. I flick on my camera. The machine grows louder, but alas, still nothing. I’m beginning to realise that everything moves very s-l-o-w-l-y around here. I stifle a yawn and wriggle my toes one last time even though I know I’ve lost the battle. I have no idea how much longer this will take. Yet, despite all this, I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I’m located on Japan’s southern island of Shikoku, on the coastal, mountainous, somewhat rural prefecture of Kochi. I was warned about this place before I arrived – something about the locals being big drinkers. Beer and sake are consumed like water here, is what I recall hearing. And after last night’s activities, I would second that. There are a few tourist attractions in the prefecture; several popular onsens (hot
springs), nice rivers, castles, markets and it’s here that the famous Japanese Tosa washi paper is made. But what it’s really known for is sake. I’m sure it’s not top of most people’s lists to watch rice being steamed at 7 am. Heck, it wouldn’t even be top of mine normally. But after all, I’m here to learn about sake. And rice is the mother of sake. So that’s where I am, inside Tsukasabotan Brewing Co.’s facilities, waiting for the first batch of freshly steamed rice to be processed. Once it’s been processed, it will be carried by the brewery workers to the koji room everyone’s favourite place to be in winter. For the koji to grow (a mould that converts the starch in the rice to sugar, used later for fermentation), it needs warm temperatures and high humidity. That’s quite the contrast to the temperature inside the brewery right now, which matches the minus degrees outside. Let’s just stay in there all day, shall we? Sake has always been made in winter. As per tradition (which there are many of in Japan and sake production), the season is marked
with the hanging of a ball of green cedar leaves in front of each brewery - usually in late October. By the time the leaves have turned brown (towards the end of March), the season has ended, and locals know this as a sign that the first press of sake is ready to drink. It may seem odd to pick the coldest season, but there is a rationale behind the decision, with a cooler climate helping the brewery workers or kurapitos to have better control over fermentation and natural airborne yeasts. Yeast is a bit of a buzz word in sake. While it wouldn’t be a hot topic of interest for most of us, it makes sense why it does to brewers, particularly when you know that this little ingredient plays the biggest part in the aroma and flavour of sake. I was told before going on this trip that if I asked a sake brewer which yeast they used they’d be impressed. Boy was that person right. With hundreds of strains to choose from, brewers will be proud to tell you about their yeast. Where I am, in Kochi, there is a scientist - dubbed the “mad scientist” by local sake makers (it turns out he was rather mad, but that’s not for publication) - dedicated to
Cups used in a traditional sake drinking game
studying all the different types of yeast and their influence on sake. There has become somewhat of an ‘allegiance to yeast’ (at least, this is what I’m calling it) that has come about in recent years, splitting those who prefer the ‘classics’ to those who prefer the ‘modern’ strains. Classic yeasts tend to give sake aromas and flavours of melon, banana and grapefruit, while modern yeasts tend to give tropical fruit and liquorice. Before I lose you on the matter of yeast (because believe me, I also found myself falling into a black abyss at times) this is important, because it represents sake brewer’s acknowledgement of changing tastes. Particularly Westerners, who I’ve noticed (and agree with) prefer sake made with modern yeast. The classics tend to be a lot richer and overpowering. So what else happens inside of a sake brewery? Almost every day begins with a group prayer to a shrine inside the brewery. Buddhism and Shinto religions are still very
strong in Japan and there is a god for almost everything - including sake. Google ‘Berobero No Kamisama’. He likes sake. So typically, his shrine consists of a few bottles and other trinkets. Almost every day follows the same repetitive processes too, with not only quality control an important thing here, but maintaining traditions held by past generations too. Tsukasabotan’s toji or master brewer, Mr Toru Asano, told me that it’s easy to make good sake, but difficult to make great sake, meaning that by repeating the same steps followed for hundreds of years will ensure the year’s production won’t go wrong. But to make great sake is a secret only held by some (although, anyone at Tsukasabotan Brewing would tell you that. Its name translates to top king or thereabouts). To check this, however, I asked several other tojis, and it turns out there’s some truth behind the statement. The role of a toji (those who hold the knowledge to create great sake)
is highly respected and only the most skilled will be appointed, which means the average age is around 50. Mr Asano may not look it, but he is 65. The youngest I met on my travels, in Kochi’s neighbouring prefecture of Ehime at the Sakura Uzumaki Shuko Co. brewery a few days before, was 32. But that’s a real rarity and even caught the interest of a local reporter following us. The toji leads the kurapitos in day-to-day activities. This often involves starting at 5 am, washing the rice, steaming the rice and separating the steamed rice. Then kneading the rice to spread the koji mould evenly, before stirring and plunging the tanks containing rice, koji, yeast and water during fermentation. And finally, pressing this mixture through fabric bags to filter the sake. You may be thinking right now that all this doesn’t sound so bad; that you might just take up the life of a kurapito and move to Japan. But what if I told you that everything is done by hand? That’s right. Everything. Unless you’re like Tsukasabotan and recognise the
benefits of introducing more machinery to improve consistency in production and well, an easier life. As a side, such physical tasks largely explain the small presence of women in sake breweries today, however, I am reassured this is changing. But still, slowly as most breweries still believe in the old way of doing things. But if breweries are to capture the changing tide of trends, which includes foreigners’ embrace of the beverage, they too will have to change their thinking.
A brewery worker at the Sakura Uzumaki Shuko Co. brewery washes bags used to filter sake
It would seem that Japan has been making sake for about as long as it’s been growing rice. Or, for at least as long as anyone can remember. It’s made in breweries (you’ve probably picked up on that already; not distilleries or wineries as many think) right across the country. The only exception has been, until recently, the island of Okinawa believed to be too hot for sake production. Although, since returning to Australia, I’ve been told that a distillery there is now also giving it a go. In saying all this, the number of breweries today is not what it once was. So often, the best explanations are paralleled to stories already known, and sake in Japan is like fortified wine in Australia. It has, for want of better words, become somewhat a drink of yesteryear. At least locally. Figures show consumption of the rice-based beverage has been in decline in Japan since 1973. It may come as a surprise to those that have enjoyed a recent trip to Japan and are now equally enjoying discovering sake back at home, but as is the way with many traditions in countries, some stay, while others go. And sake, as a tradition, has mostly stayed with only those who remember it in its heyday. Poor rice production after World War II meant that a lot of low-quality sakes hit the market, while the arrival of other beverages such as beer, wine and spirits on a wider scale caught the appeal of younger generations. The snowball effect has been that over the years, many sake breweries have had to shut up shop. Sadly, there are now just shy of half of the 3,100 that existed in its peak.
Steemed rice is transferred in the early hours of the morning at Suigei Brewing Co. Brewers at the Tsukasabotan Brewing Co. wait for newly steemed rice
To create a premium grade of sake requires more labour and more of the processes to be done by hand. I hadn’t really anticipated just how labour-intensive or how much of a craft sake making is until I stepped into a brewery. In fact, I now firmly believe that if any beverage is worthy of the title craft, it is sake. Take just the milling of the rice as an example – the first stage of sake production (also referred to as polishing) that takes off the outer layer of the grain using a large, fast-rotating, doughnut-shaped stone to get closer to the holy grail – the starch centre. A premium sake is made from rice that has been milled by 50%. To put that into perspective, it takes 80 hours to mill just half a grain of rice. The one thing that this does mean is that sake is usually fairly priced. Another positive transition is that intrepid travellers’ discovery of Japan and its iconic tipple is seeing a resurgence in sake around the world. It is perhaps not where the Japanese would like it to be, but it is a resurgence nonetheless. This is particularly the case in Australia - I mean, my God, we’re practically obsessed. First drawn in by Japan’s top ski and snowboard resorts, on arrival we discover a country that surpasses expectations. It’s no wonder we want more; not even Disneyland has geishas and robotic toilets in the same attraction. And as most feel about any enjoyable holiday, we’re determined not to let the experience end there, with our embrace of Japan’s iconic tipple growing tenfold back home. And there’s no sign of that slowing down. Most are small, family-owned and run breweries, harnessing their craft and focusing on creating premium quality products. Tsukasabotan is the country’s 14th oldest sake brewery, at 415-years old, and has experienced the beverage’s decline firsthand. As a benchmark, the brewery was making roughly 20,000 koku (the official measurement used for sake) at its peak and is producing just 4,000 koku now. On the up-side, that’s considered quite high for sake breweries today. Its focus over the years, as a
consequence of the decline, has moved away from lower futsu-shu (every day) grade sake to premium. This is also the case at Sakura – the brewery in Ehime where the toji is just 32. And at the Ishizuchi Shuzo Corporation, also in Ehime, where premium sake accounts for almost 87% of production. This is mirrored again at Suigei Brewing Co., back in Kochi, with a 97% focus premium. The list goes on… Not only is premium sake helping to change people’s perceptions of the beverage, but it also affords breweries a better price.
As someone that has fallen in love with Japan and sake through this journey, I can see why many others would too. A pleasing thought. A sign of hope for an industry that has weathered many seasons in recent years. And perhaps, as the world of sake opens up, our experience and tastes could change its future in more ways than originally thought. Head to the next page for my sake recommendations and page 18 to learn about sake styles from our own Sake Samurai.
A geisha stands in front of old sake barrels, still given at weddings today
SCRUMPTIOUS SAKES You’ve wandered through Japan’s ancient world of sake and learnt all about the iconic tipple from a real life Sake Samurai. Now it’s time to try sake. Here are six elegant and savoury sakes that provide a good starting point for those that are new to this beverage. But if these aren’t to your tasting, take our simple guide below to your local bottle shop or Japanese restaurant and start exploring.
RICE MILLING/ SAKE CLASSIFICATION
PURE RICE STYLE
(rice, water, yeast, koji + distilled alcohol)
(rice, water, yeast and koji (no distilled alcohol added))
50% or less remaining
60% or less remaining
70% or less remaining
No minimum milling requirement
DEWAZAKURA SAKU SPARKLING JUNMAI (as seen on the front cover) A great introduction to sake. Those who like sparkling wine will love this. It’s extremely easy to drink. It has a hint of herb on the nose, which is a nice contrast to the strong banana and apple aromas often found in sake consumed locally in Japan. The flavour is very light and elegant, and the finish is delicate and dry. Drink up! Rice polishing ratio: 65% Alcohol: 9% Best served: Chilled Buy: www.danmurphys.com.au Price: $21.50 (250ml bottle)2
DRINKS DEWAZAKURA JUNMAI GINJO DEWA SANSAN The rice used in this sake was developed by the Dewazakura Sake Brewery and the local agricultural bureau in the Yamagata prefecture. It is a very soft and deep flavoured style of sake with characters that resemble wine. It has hints of herbs, yeast and mushrooms, zingy acidity and a clean, fresh finish. Rice polishing ratio: 50% Alcohol: 15.5% Best served: Chilled/warm temp Buy: www.danmurphys.com.au Price: $23.99 (300ml bottle)
HOURAISEN BESHI TOKUBETSU JUNMAI This sake is made at the Sekiya Brewery, located about halfway between the popular destinations of Tokyo and Osaka. Itâ€™s a beautifully balanced junmai sake (no alcohol added) with a gentle, savoury and floral aroma of grains, brown mushroom, yellow flower and ripe fruit. The palate has a gentle acidity and fullness to it; itâ€™s also smooth and has a nice dry finish. Rice polishing ratio: 55% Alcohol: 15.5% Best served: Warm/room temperature Buy: www.danmurphys.com.au Price: $21.50 (300ml bottle)
TSUKASABOTAN YAMA YUZU SHIBORI LIQUEUR Now for something completely different and delicious! Sake flavoured with fresh yuzu juice, grown in the same prefecture the sake is made in - Kochi. It has a refreshing citrus, mostly lemon-like aroma and flavour, best served on its own or over ice before dinner as an aperitif or after dinner as a digestif or for dessert.
TENGUMAI YAMAHAI JIKOMI JUNMAI The prefecture where this junmai sake is made, Ishikawa, is known for creating quite complex styles of sake and this expression reflects that. It has been matured in a tank for over 12 months, giving it a golden colour. It has spice aromas and is rich and complex on the palate, with savoury, creamy, citrus characters, which linger in the mouth for an incredibly long finish. Rice polishing ratio: 60% Alcohol: 16% Best served: Chilled/warm/room temperature Buy: www.danmurphys.com.au Price: $45.99 (720ml bottle)
YOSHINOGAWA DAIGINJO This sake is aged for three years prior to bottling, which is unusual for sake, with most bottled and consumed in the same year. This creates a more complex, but still well-balanced and fresh sake. It has hints of white flower, strawberry, fresh mint and green herbs on the nose. It also has flavours of strawberry, musk, ginger, herbs and a strong ginjo-ka (fruity, often banana or apple) character. Rice polishing ratio: 40% Alcohol: 16% Best served: Chilled to room temperature Buy: www.danmurphys.com.au Price: $16.88 (300ml bottle)
Rice polishing ratio: Not stated Alcohol: 8% Best served: Chilled Buy: www.justliquor.com.au Price: $35 (720ml)
The Sake Samurai
MEET YUKINO OCHIAI In Australia, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone more knowledgeable or passionate about sake than Yukino Ochiai. The Kikisake-shi, or Master of Sake, has dedicated her life and career to educating us about Japan’s iconic drink. In 2017, she was recognised for her tireless work by the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association, bestowed with the revered title of Sake Samurai. explore DRINKS spoke with Yukino recently about her sake import business, the Déjà Vu Sake Company, how she felt receiving her new title, and how best to start experimenting with the ricebased beverage. You can also see her sakes on our front cover and from our autumn getaway at Osaka Trading Co. over the next few pages. explore Drinks: How did your career with sake start? Yukino Ochiai: It began in 2011 when we first set about establishing Déjà Vu Sake Co. I had worked in the Australian wine industry for a long time and enjoyed seeing international people enjoy our wine. Now I get to see the big smiles on Australians’ faces when they experience sake, which makes me extremely happy. eD: How did you come to live in Australia and how do you hope Déjà Vu Sake Co. is helping to spread the word about sake? YO: I migrated to Sydney from Japan with my parents in 1987. In terms of the business, we like to think that we’re influencing the market to move closer to sake through our activities, such as sake education and marketing/PR sessions.
eD: What does it mean to be a Sake Samuari and how were you awarded the title? YO: Being awarded the title of Sake Samurai was a very special experience and I feel very honoured. It is a title bestowed by the Japan Sake and Shochu Association and is a huge recognition as they choose only six people per year to give this title to. There are only 70 recognised as Sake Samurais in the world. The title is given to someone who has promoted Japanese sake and the culture. With this title, I have the opportunity to better promote the drink and educate Australians on how to taste sake. eD: Are there many women within the sake industry and are you seeing this number grow? YO: Yes, there are more women starting to involve themselves in the industry in many aspects. It’s wonderful to work together to keep this traditional industry alive, hopefully for a long time. eD: What are the main ingredients of sake, and could you briefly describe how it’s made? YO: The main ingredients are rice, water, koji mould, yeast and, sometimes, distilled alcohol. Rice does not have natural sugar, nor is it acidic and moist like grapes. It does have starch, however, and so the first step to make sake is to turn the starch into sugar to start the fermentation process. After the rice is polished, washed and steamed, a portion of it goes through this process by adding a mould called
koji, which interacts with the starch. This is an extremely delicate process, and it will heavily influence the style of the final product. There are then two processes of fermentation. The first fermentation process is called shubo, meaning ‘mother of sake’. This process makes a very concentrated yeast culture with the koji rice (the starch that was converted into sugar), steamed rice, water and yeast. After around two weeks, the concentrated yeast is ready for the main fermentation process, called moto. This process takes around four weeks and creates the base for the sake. You then refine it, add water to balance the alcohol percentage (to around 1316% ABV), filter it, perform pasteurisation and bottle it. eD: For someone like us looking to try sake for the first time, what tips would you give?
eD: How is sake best served? YO: If your sake is aromatic, then around 15 degrees celsius is the perfect temperature. Serve it in a normal wine glass to enjoy its aroma. If your sake is junmai or has body to it, then warm it to around 45 degrees. Use either a sake vessel, called tokkuri, or a narrow coffee cup to bath the sake in water at approximately 80 degrees celsius. Wait for five to ten minutes, and you’ll have a nice, warm sake! Do not heat the sake itself, or you will lose its aroma. eD: For those looking to try sake at home, what’s a good dish they can pair it with? YO: Anything you like! Cheese, BBQ, fish, pasta, pizza etc. Sake has a good level of umami, a flavour which goes well with most foods.
YO: If you like aromatic and light bodied white wines, then I would recommend trying daiginjo or ginjo. If you like a drier style of wine, then futsushu is a good place to start. If you like body and depth to your wines, then you might prefer junmai sake.
Light styles of sake go better with light foods, like carpaccio for example.
The price of sake is a great indication of the work that has gone into its production. Around $35-50 at retail is a good price point to explore.
eD: Where can consumers get their hands on sake?
Opened bottles of sake can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days or more with the cap screwed back on, so you can enjoy your sake a few times if you cannot finish the bottle all at once!
Heavier dishes like meats pair well with junmai style sake. Also aged sake, called koshu, is great with chocolate dessert!
YO: Dan Murphy’s has the biggest sake range in Australia, both in stores and online. David Jones and Qantas epiQure are also good places to buy sake from. Many Australian restaurants now have sake on their wine lists as well. The most extensive lists are at Tetsuya’s, Goros, Yayoi Gardens, the Sake Restaurant & Bar group, Sokyo, Kiyomi, Toko and Kisume.
AT OSAKA TRADING CO. Tucked into the centre of Tramsheds, Sydneyâ€™s new hospitality hub - home to 12 eclectic restaurants and bars - is Osaka Trading Co.; a hole-in-the-wall-style eatery, capturing the cosy feel and ambience of a classic Japanese izakaya. PHOTOGRAPHY RYAN STUART
Osaka’s chilled hang-out vibe has been welcoming workers and locals at lunchtime and families and small groups by evening since it opened. Exposed brick, intimate dining areas and laidback, friendly staff lend to Osaka’s casual hide-away atmosphere, while a feature wall of various sized shelves and boxes, containing exciting Japanese knick-knacks, provides a fantastic conversation starter. Everything from colourful spinning tops to teapots, paper cranes and Buddha statues; it’s intriguing to say the least.
Gyoza (pan fried pork and cabbage dumplings)
L-R: Edamame, karaage chicken and ramen no.1 (shoyu tare, chicken broth, pork belly chashu, bean sprouts and shallots)
The food and drink at Osaka can be summed up in two words - straightforward and delicious, with head chef Shota Sato and beverage manager Luke Hanzlicek preferring to keep things simple, while using high-quality ingredients. This is a great place for those visiting a Japanese venue for the first time, with staff happy to help recommend dishes or create a beverage for you based on what you like and know. At the bar, you can choose from a selection of nine reasonably priced, premium sakes, ranging from savoury to fruity, delicate to rich; something for both the unacquainted and connoisseur. Thereâ€™s also an impressive range of Japanese whiskies, beers, wines and classic cocktails made to order.
Poke rice bowl (assorted sashimi, salad, edamame beans and rice)
Try a menu of three warming ramens among other delights all day on Monday and for lunch from Tuesday to Saturday. The Ramen Project was designed for those looking for a cheap and simple meal, and has been pulling in residents and business workers since it launched. We recommend no. 2 – the tantanmen ramen, but if spice isn’t your thing try no.1, or pick the vegan or vegetarian option with no.3. We also tried the poke rice bowl, edamame, gyoza and karaage chicken with smiles on our faces.
Ramen no.2 (tantanmen, roasted sesame and chilli tare, pork mince and bok choy)
If you have time, check out Osaka’s sister venue, Tokyo Bird in Surry Hills. The speciality there is yakitori (grilled skewers) and morsel snacks, alongside whisky, beer, sake and cocktails. It’s the perfect place to grab a light snack and couple of drinks after work or before heading out.
Tramsheds, 1 Dalgal Way Forest Lodge, NSW 2037 T: 02 8880 0717 W: www.osakatrading.com.au Opening hours: Lunch: Mon-Sun 12.00pm-3.00pm Dinner: Mon-Sun 6.00pm-late
Ramen no.3 (hiyashi chuka chilled ramen with pork belly, onsen egg, veggies and soy mustard dressing)
I H S A N E OMOT
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“THE THING I LOVE THE MOST ABOUT JAPANESE CUISINE IS EVEN A SIMPLE DISH ALWAYS USES AMAZING QUALITY INGREDIENTS AND IS PRODUCED LIKE ARTWORK.” explore DRINKS: Tell us about yourself and how you got started in the industry. Shota Sato: I joined this industry when I was 18 years old, working in a big restaurant as the kitchen hand. After three months there, I got an offer to work at a hotel as the chef. That job was very difficult, but I stuck it out for three years and kept going. Now I’ve been in this industry for around 16 years. Luke Hanzlicek: I began working in the liquor industry as soon as I turned 18. I started in bottle shops and then nightclubs as well, for extra cash and a bit of fun. After that, I worked for a wine company, but quickly gave it up to go back to hospitality for another eight years or so. My next job was as a whisky ambassador at Beam Suntory, but nonetheless, I was drawn back to the hospitality industry once again. I just love it (laughs). eD: How would you describe your philosophy on Japanese cooking and mixology?
the signature ingredient, which is something you find in a lot of Japanese dishes – a particular flavour is showcased and the other flavours are used to enhance it. eD: Where does your love of Japanese food and drinks come from? SS: I’m Japanese, so I grew up with this type of food. It wasn’t until I moved to Australia, however, that I studied traditional Japanese cuisine. When I did, I realised how good it is. My style is more modern, using a mix of western and Japanese flavours, but I still try to incorporate what I love about Japanese food and drinks at Osaka, and that’s keeping it very simple and putting a strong focus on seasonal ingredients. LH: I love Japanese culture, food and drinks. My time working at Suntory certainly highlighted that. The thing I love the most about Japanese cuisine is even a simple dish always uses amazing quality ingredients and is produced like artwork. I have a lot of respect for the attention to detail Japanese chefs have.
SS: My philosophy is to use high-quality ingredients and lots of flavour and texture in preparation, but when it comes to the overall dish, I like to keep things simple.
eD: What are some simple Japanese dishes or ingredients our readers can try pairing together at home?
LH: I like to keep things simple too. As Shota said, there is a lot of preparation involved, but some of my favourite cocktails have just three or four ingredients. I also like to hero
SS: In Japan, we eat a lot of rice and because sake is made from rice, those two always pair together well. A simple dish and one that we make often in Japan is: rice,
sake, sashimi and miso soup. It’s easy to put together at home and you can get all of the ingredients from the supermarket. LH: The good thing about alcohol from Japan is that a lot of it is designed to be paired with food. When I talk about whiskies of the world, I always liken it to the flavours you find in that area. So, if you think about American cuisine, it’s often full of big, bold, spicy flavours and bourbon and rye whiskies are also like that. Japanese food often has light, delicate flavours that are intricately wound together and Japanese whisky is the same. Even the Japanese highball is made to be enjoyed with food. eD: We tried the ramen specials and poke rice bowl with sake and Japanese beer when we visited Osaka. Can you tell us about these dishes and why they were paired with these drinks? SS: We get a lot of locals and business people coming in for lunch on a Monday, so we wanted to create a menu that’s quick and light to eat, under $20, and still traditional Japanese food. LH: As for the drinks, a nice, frosty beer always goes down really well with ramen. With our rice dishes, as Shota was saying earlier, sake is a great pairing. A slightly drier style of sake that’s not too fruity is the perfect accompaniment for our poke rice bowl.
Autumn SEASONAL SIPS Just like Japanese food, Japanese cocktails also follow the seasons, using the best quality ingredients for the time of year. As part of our special Japanese issue, we bring you ten cocktails featuring sake, umeshu liqueur and whiskey, as well as authentic flavours such as yuzu and shiso leaf. You should be able to find all of these ingredients at your local Japanese supermarket. Kampai (cheers)! RECIPES BEN DAVIDSON PHOTOGRAPHY RYAN STUART GLASSWARE SPIEGELAU PERFECT SERVE COLLECTION
SAKE PLUM SPRITZ GLASS: Tall glass INGREDIENTS: 90ml Dewazakura Saku Sparkling Junmai sake 45ml Umeshu plum wine 30ml Pink grapefruit juice 30ml Soda water METHOD: Add to a tall glass and fill with ice GARNISH: Sliced plum and grapefruit
DRINKS YUZU & CHAMOMILE COLLINS GLASS: Tall glass INGREDIENTS: 45ml Gin 20ml MONIN Yuzu Fruit Puree 60ml Chilled chamomile tea 20ml Fresh lemon juice 60ml Soda water METHOD: Add to a tall glass and fill with ice GARNISH: Chamomile flower
JAPANESE SLIPPER 2.0 GLASS: Coupette glass INGREDIENTS: 30ml Shochu 30ml Sake 15ml Midori 30ml Yuzu juice METHOD: Shake with ice and strain into a coupette glass GARNISH: Origami paper crane
CHERRY BLOSSOM SIDECAR GLASS: Coupette glass INGREDIENTS: 30ml Martell VSOP Cognac 20ml Lillet RosÃ© Aperitif 10ml Elderflower cordial 20ml Fresh lemon juice 30ml Cherry juice 2 x Drops of orange blossom water METHOD: Shake with ice and strain into a coupette glass GARNISH: Morello pitted cherries on a cocktail stick and small white flower
OSAKA TRADING CO. G&T GLASS: Tall glass INGREDIENTS: 30ml Gin 20ml Amanoto Junmai Ginjo Sake 20ml Fresh lime juice 20ml Homemade shiso syrup 60ml Tonic water METHOD: Add to a tall glass and fill with ice. Stir GARNISH: Shiso leaf
FALLING WATER GLASS: Tall glass INGREDIENTS: 60ml Tengumai Yamahai Jikomi Junmai sake 90ml Coconut water 5ml Fresh lime juice 10ml MONIN Coconut Syrup METHOD: Add to a tall glass, fill with ice and stir GARNISH: Dried lime wheel
MANDARIN & HONEY HI-BALL GLASS: Tall glass INGREDIENTS: 40ml Suntory The Chita Single Grain Whisky 20ml Mandarine Napoleon Liqueur 45ml Fresh orange juice 10ml Honey water (50:50) 90ml Soda water METHOD: Add to a tall glass and fill with ice GARNISH: Dried orange wheel
APPLE & SENCHA SAKE BOMB GLASS: Small rocks glass INGREDIENTS: 30ml Mars Iwai Tradition Japanese Whisky 60ml Houraisen Beshi Tokubetsu Junmai sake 60ml Chilled sencha tea 10ml MONIN Green Apple Syrup METHOD: Stir with ice and strain over an ice ball in a small rocks glass GARNISH: Granny Smith apple fan
WASABI & GINGER MARTINI GLASS: Martini glass INGREDIENTS: 45ml London Dry Gin 15ml Lillet Blanc Aperitif 10ml MONIN Ginger Syrup Â½ tsp Wasabi paste METHOD: Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass GARNISH: Slice of ginger root
JAPANESE PUMPKIN SMASH GLASS: Large rocks glass INGREDIENTS: 30ml Hakushu Single Malt Whisky 30ml Gin 30ml Fresh lemon juice 15ml MONIN Pumpkin Spice Syrup 2 x Shiso leaf METHOD: Shake with ice and strain over ice in a large rocks glass GARNISH: Shiso leaf and lemon slice
: E M Â N I N O M SYRUPS WITH SOUL
100 years, etches back more than str at th e on is ry sto N The MONI . ree generations of men th of n tio ina rm te de e and tells of th Olivier Monin, current president Despite now proudly positioned as one of the leading producers of syrups in the world, MONIN started from humble beginnings.
After years of trial and error, Georges finally created a syrup that met his standards, marking the turning point for the MONIN brand.
“It all started in the horse and carriage days of 1912 with my grandfather, Georges Monin, distributing local spirits, Armagnac and Cognac out of his cart,” relays Olivier Monin, current president of MONIN Inc. and grandson of Georges.
It was Georges’ son, Paul, that steered the company towards syrups when he took over in 1945 and it is the third generation president, Olivier Monin, that has made the MONIN name known across the globe.
And so the business continued in this modest manner until the late 1920s/early 1930s when, as the story goes, Georges hosted an intimate dinner party for his family. When Georges’ brother-in-law asked for an after-dinner drink, the obliging host grabbed his best cordial. However, when Georges poured the liquid, he found it dull and lacking in flavour and aroma. He moved on to each of the other cordials behind his bar and was afforded the same disappointing result.
Olivier is proud of the growth he has seen since he first took the reins in 1993.
This inspired in Georges a desire to create a cordial that tasted of vibrant fruit and could be used to flavour anything, from cocktails, to coffee and even water.
“We now distribute our syrups in 150 countries, and we have roughly 150 flavours. This is because we’re trying to grow and develop new products that appeal to each of our customers.” Indeed, MONIN is serious about meeting the needs of each of its markets. So much so, that they appoint a beverage innovation director in each region - a resident trained bartender whose job it is to liaise with MONIN about the local customs and flavours to help develop new syrups and recipes.
It’s in listening to its health conscious consumers that MONIN has moved to release its first sugarfree prototypes in the American market by the end of the year/start of 2019. This is a big move for the sugar syrup brand, which prides itself on its dedication to producing 100% natural syrups. “We’re thrilled to launch this interesting range, which is not only 100% natural, but with no sugar and no sugary taste. There is another twist that will make it very unique, but I can’t reveal too much.” So, does the current Mr Monin himself have a favourite flavour of these innovative syrups? “I think almost every week it changes. Right now, my favourite is the Yuzu Fruit Puree. I’m also excited about the release of our new Saffron and Peppercorn Syrups, which are on the cards for 2018.”
PASSION, OBSESSION AND A CIDER IN HAND
I’m crawling around on my hands and knees in muddy wet grass under an apple tree. The ground is littered with fallen fruit: most of the apples are bruised and rotten and squish through the fabric of my trousers as I kneel on them, filling the air with the sharp smell of vinegar. And it’s beginning to rain. WORDS MAX ALLEN But I can’t remember the last time I was this happy. Why? Because, despite the damp and dirt and drizzle, hiding amongst the long grass are dozens and dozens of perfectly good, whole, ripe apples - wind fallen fruit, neglected by the teams of pickers who swept through this orchard a few days ago. A free bounty waiting for me to come along, pick it up, take it home and turn it into cider. Every autumn for the last few years I’ve repeated this ritual - convincing a friendly orchardist to let me fill my car with a boot load
of wind fallen apples, then inviting family and friends over to help me wash, crush and press the fruit and then pour the juice into glass demijohns to allow the magic of fermentation to do its thing. As you’ve probably gathered, I’m obsessed with cider. Oh, sure, I still love wine - after twenty years as a wine columnist I love it more than ever. But cider’s my true passion. I was born in the West Country of England cider central. My first exposure to alcohol was
cider - big plastic bottles of hangover-inducing Woodpecker Medium Dry. And now, decades later, you’re still just as likely to find a glass of cider on the table at dinnertime at my house as you are a glass of wine - especially if there’s a roast pork or gourmet cheese on the table too. I just love the stuff. And I’m not alone. Over the last ten years there has been an explosion of interest in cider in Australia. The market for fermented apple and pear juice has grown enormously - particularly among younger drinkers - and the number
of Australian cider producers and brands has exploded from around only a dozen in the mid2000s to more than 150 today. For this cider-loving booze hack, the boom has been an absolute bonanza. Suddenly, the newspapers and magazines I write for all want stories on this new trending drink. And of course, I’ve been more than happy to oblige by immersing myself in in-depth - ahem - research. I’ve crisscrossed the country looking for new orchards and producers, from the damp coastal forests of southern Tasmania to the high volcanic slopes of central New South Wales; from the flat irrigation country of Victoria’s Goulburn Valley to the hard mining country of Burra in South Australia. The title of this magazine is perfect, in fact - to really get to know what’s happening out there in the Australian cider scene, you need to go exploring - and if you do, you’ll find an increasing number of cider makers willing to welcome you and show you what they’re up to.
I love that there is now an enormous number of ciders available in Australia, both locallyproduced and imported - not least because it increases the options of what I can drink with dinner. Twenty years ago, the choice was limited to Strongbow and Mercury. Now I can easily - and regularly do - indulge in all sorts of deliciously classic cider and food combos - knackwurst and sauerkraut with tart German apfelwein; oozing, pungent camembert with rich, golden French cidre; pork pie and pickled onions with a pint of funky West Country scrumpy; rustic, cloudy Tasmanian farmhouse cider with a big bowl of mussels - which have been simmered, of course, in the same cider I’m drinking. The list goes on.
The more I’ve travelled and talked and tasted and judged around the world, though, the more I’ve learned to appreciate the history of cider in Australia. Most people assume the current cider boom is Australia’s first, but nothing could be further from the truth. A visit to the old stone-and-timber apple mill and press at the convict-built 1840s farm property Woolmers, south of Launceston, brought home to me that the drink has been popular here for well over 100 years. And there have been other booms before this current one too - back in the 1960s and 70s, a party wasn’t a party if the Esky wasn’t full of bottles of now-forgotten brands such as Lillydale Sparkling Dry Cider or cans of Pakenham Draught Cider.
I’ve found that the cider world is populated by some great characters. I’ve encountered all types, from bearded, corduroy-wearing ex-academics to bearded, tattooed hipsters; I’ve met struggling second generation Italian fruit growers whose businesses have been given a new lease of life by the cider boom; I’ve also come across hungry-eyed entrepreneurs jumping onto the cider bandwagon, and starryeyed artisans who are definitely not in it for the money.
As the cider industry has boomed, so has the number of cider competitions and shows, both here and around the world - which is how I found myself a couple of years ago in a marquee at the Royal Bath and West Show, at the UK’s biggest cider judging - lots of ruddy faced gentlemen in Barbour jackets being terribly polite about the flagons of cider exhibited, before tottering off for a lovely lunch of coronation chicken and cucumber sandwiches.
Unlike those previous surges, though, the modern interest in cider looks like continuing for a good while yet. There’s more investment in cider making facilities, more focus on ciderbased tourism, marketing and distribution, and more orchards being planted especially for cider production. Which fortunately for me, means a lot more opportunities to crawl around on my hands and knees in the rain gathering windfalls.
ERE H TS R A ST ’ N O TI A C FI LI IL LB IL YOUR ‘H
Living the ‘hillbilly lifestyle’ in Bilpin, the heart of NSW’s Blue Mountains, surrounded by apple trees, was Shane and Tessa’s inspiration for creating this local favourite cider. With 20 years of wine and cider making under his belt, Shane adapted techniques from time spent in cider regions around the world, including Normandy, Hereford and Somerset. He blends classic Aussie apples as well as heritage cider apples, which are reflected in the brand’s different styles. This range of styles has resulted in the numerous awards Hillbilly has won every year since launching, including ‘Best in Class’ three times in the Australian Cider Awards and the highest scoring Aussie cider in the UK’s International Cider Awards in 2015, taking away a silver medal. Shane’s approach is to keep it simple – using 100% apples with no artificial flavours or added sugar. The range includes the Scrumpy
cider, made from heritage cider apples; an oakaged Vintage cider and the Sweet Julie cider, which is the only cider in the world made from the Julie apple. The apple and pear ciders are mainly fermented cold in stainless steel tanks to retain the natural CO2, which in turn creates a natural bead leading to a Champagne-style mouthfeel.
Visitors are able to pick Julie apples when in season. This chance seedling apple is the first one found in the Sydney and Blue Mountains area since the Granny Smith apple was discovered in the same way 100 years ago. Plant breeder rights have been granted to orchardists Bill and Julie Shields, who discovered the apple growing on their property.
The Hillbilly ciders are available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide on a limited basis, and more widely in their local area of the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury.
Getting back to that theme of living a simple hillbilly life, Shane and Tess can be regularly spotted out and about in the mountains in their ex-military Land Rover truck, delivering Hillbilly Cider to their loyal following.
For those wanting to get their ‘hillbillification’ started, a trip to the Hillbilly Cider Shed in Bilpin gives you a chance to try the ciders straight out of the barrel. In addition, Shane produces small batch ciders only available on site.
“It’s meant to be camouflaged, but everybody seems to notice it,” laughs Shane.
TASTING NOTES HILLBILLY APPLE CIDER APPEARANCE: Naturally carbonated, which gives a beautiful creamy bead AROMA: You can smell the apple orchard in your glass FLAVOUR: Made from 100% whole crushed mountain apples, it has a wellrounded taste and a crisp, refreshing finish
HILLBILLY CRUSHED PEAR CIDER
HILLBILLY VINTAGE CIDER APPEARANCE: A small smooth creamy bead, not unlike Champagne AROMA: Fully ripened apples with a whiff of French oak FLAVOUR: This cider is double fermented in French oak to create an exciting limited release. The palate is dry with hints of crème caramel
APPEARANCE: Vibrant pale gold AROMA: Hints of ripe pear FLAVOUR: Australian Cider Awards Best in Class 2016 and 2014. Rich and indulgent flavours dance around the palate
SCRUMPY CIDER APPEARANCE: Cloudy – awaken this cider by gently rolling the bottle before opening AROMA: A little funk from the heritage apples FLAVOUR: Inspired by a Somerset scrumpy cider, it’s packed full of apple-y flavour.
NON-ALCOHOLIC APPLE CIDER APPEARANCE: Lightly golden
SWEET JULIE CIDER
AROMA: Delicious apple aromas
FLAVOUR: Scrumptious apple flavours in an alcoholic-free cider! There’s no added sugar and its gluten free.
AROMA: Lovely sweet florals FLAVOUR: Australian Cider Awards Best in Class 2016. The only cider in the world using the Julie apple, grown in Bilpin, NSW. It’s sweet with vibrant red apple flavours
R E D I C S ’ K N A FR
Frank’s story is one of six generations of growing apples and pears in Tasmania. Born in 1894, Frank was the third generation of the Clark Family to tend the orchards at Woodside, Franklin in Tasmania’s scenic Huon Valley. His grandfather was the first permanent white settler in the area, clearing the land in the 1830s. Following this, the initial apple and pear trees were planted in 1838, with commercial plantings taking place in the 1850s. Frank lived at Woodside all his life, clearing the bush and planting more orchards. He used pit saws for felling gums and horses for working the orchard, with the first tractor purchased in 1952. The trees flourished in the rich soil on the banks of the Huon River. An old recipe found by the family proves he also enjoyed a home brewed cider at the end of the day. Almost 100 years after Frank’s time, his granddaughter Naomie Clark-Port and her husband Tony Port established the Franklin Cider Co. and began creating cider, which they named after Frank! Frank’s multi-award winning ciders are proudly made from 100% Tasmanian fruit. Naomie and Tony believe that “If it doesn’t grow in Tasmania, it doesn’t go into our cider!” This includes cane sugar, so Frank’s ciders are proudly both sugar and gluten-free. Only
Woodside juice is used in the blend to create a medium-level sweetness after fermentation. As the growers of the high-quality fruit that is the basis of Frank’s Ciders, their philosophy is to maximise fruit complexity, sweetness and flavour by tree ripening. The apples and pears that go into Frank’s Ciders are tree-ripened for maximum quality and flavour, with some even harvested from trees that Frank planted over 100 years ago. The main apple variety used is the old-fashioned Golden Delicious, which has crisp, sweet flesh and is one of the juiciest there is. Heritage apple types – such as Cox’s Orange Pippin – are also added to the blend. The pears grown at Woodside are traditional varieties with high tannin content. They produce a pear cider with great complexity.
Once the fruit is harvested, the team at Winemaking Tasmania creates Frank’s ciders. Their role is to assist boutique producers who do not have their own facilities. Working closely with expert cider makers, Naomie and Tony believe that their role is to grow the best quality fruit. They maintain, “It’s best to let the experts guide us on the finer points of fermentation and blending.” The Frank’s range includes both tank fermented and barrel aged ciders. Each one is sparkling, medium-sweet and bursting with natural fruit flavour. Clarity through high filtration and minimal preservative levels are also a feature. This is REAL CIDER, with no pasteurisation and not one drop of concentrate!
FRANK’S SUMMER PEAR CIDER APPEARANCE: Straw coloured, clear and sparkling
FRANK’S SUMMER APPLE CIDER
AROMA: ‘Just picked’ pear with hints of tropical fruit
APPEARANCE: Light golden, clear and sparkling
FLAVOUR: A deliciously crisp and refreshing semi-sweet perry
AROMA: Fresh apple and cinnamon FLAVOUR: A fruity blend of tree ripened Golden Delicious apples with spice overtones
FRANK’S CHERRY/ PEAR CIDER APPEARANCE: Deep cherry red AROMA: A fusion of ripe cherry with a hint of pear FLAVOUR: The subtle flavours of real cherries and pears combine to produce a sparkling, mediumsweet temptation that is perfectly balanced and delicious
THIRSTY LIKE THE W
Lobo Cider began in 2006 with a series of breaking experiments in cider making out in the shed of a farm. After a few trials – and more than a few errors – Warwick and Michael decided that there’s no time like the present to launch your own Cider range. Michael Stafford, a fifth generation apple grower, was raised on his family farm ‘Stafford Orchards’ in Lenswood, Adelaide hills. Tending to an abundance of apples, cherries and pears, Michael spotted a possible new enterprise in cider making. Fortunately, this was around the time that a mutual friend introduced him to Warwick Billings, who was working in the wine industry in Riverland. Warwick grew up in Somerset England – one of the ancestral homes of good cider – and was making award-winning ciders there all throughout the eighties. Wishing to study winemaking – in order to become a better cider maker – Warwick returned to Australia, where he pursued
higher education at Adelaide University in Roseworthy. So as provision and craft intertwined, it was from Michael’s apples and Warwick’s love of fermentation that Lobo Cider was born. Utilising a simple method really, Warwick ensures that Lobo ciders are full of flavour by leaving them unfiltered – a taste that customers really enjoy. Today, Lobo producers a range of ciders each with its own unique flavour profile and characteristics. For their small batch ciders, Michael specifically grows English cider apples, which are not very good for eating but are full of flavour and tannins that make an interesting and complex cider.
Warwick also makes cider out of eating apples, mostly Pink Lady, for which they have adapted a more traditional approach that results in a more complete beverage with various layers of flavour. The boys have also experimented in the past with producing a couple of popular perries – pear ciders – and they have even released a traditional cyser, or mead, made using fermented honey. As for the name, Warwick was working in Spain where he happened upon the knowledge that Lobo translates to wolf in the local tongue. Lobo is also a juicy apple variety grown mostly in Canada, and Lobo Cider is based on the Lobethal Road in Lenswood, Michaels hometown. And so it was a name that appeared to work well for the crafty duo.
LOBO CLOUDY APPLE CIDER
APPEARANCE: The original cloudy Lobo, a pale yellow colour, cloudy if rolled, clear if poured carefully
APPEARANCE: Pale yellow-gold colour AROMA: Spice, honey and yeast
AROMA: Apples with hints of apple pie and spice
FLAVOUR: Apple and quince flavours moderate the honey sweetness and give a rounded flavour. Honey flavours, with some floral and a difficult to identify fruitiness
FLAVOUR: Full flavoured, apples and more, gentle fizz, good length with a clean finish
LOBO TRAD APPEARANCE: Slightly cloudy, golden colour AROMA: Complex apple and toffee apple FLAVOUR: Rich and full, dried apple and toffee apples follow from the aroma, moderate fizz, clean and refreshing, lightly tannic finish
LOBO NORMAN APPEARANCE: Hearty deep golden cloudy cider AROMA: Spicy cider apple nose with apple and some farmhouse funk FLAVOUR: Full flavoured, intense apples and complex dried fruits with leathery notes and chewy tannins, long dry finish that lingers and calls for more
S H T I M S E I L L I W
ORGAN AUSTRALIA’S FIRST CERTIFIED
A fourth-generation Huon Valley farming family is aiming to return Tasmania to the `Apple Isle’. William Smith & Sons is Australia’s first certified organic cidery, built at the farm in the Huon Valley where William Smith first started orcharding in 1888. Andrew Smith, the fourth generation family member to farm in the Huon, currently runs the orchard. The Smith family is synonymous with southern Tasmania - Andrew Smith’s great grandfather first planted apple trees at his Grove property in 1888 and the orchard has operated continuously since. ``My great-grandfather William, whom the product is affectionately named after, would be so proud to see the orchard expanding in the direction it is. He first saw the true beauty and possibilities of the Huon Valley and we are excited to be adding to his legacy in such as positive fashion,’’ said Andrew.
Willie Smiths’ Organic Cider was inspired by the cider making process of Northern France. It’s a crafted cider and, like the French style, is matured in oak vats which creates a distinctive farmhouse style - full of character and flavour. Master Cider Maker Tim Jones has crafted Willie Smiths using the farm’s 100 per cent organic apples, he says of the end product: ``It has a light and refreshing acidity married with rounded warm apple flavours and a notable tannin structure to create a perfectly balanced palate and a easy cleansing finish.” ``The aroma holds red apple, toasty oak and fresh citrus flavours that are mirrored on the palate. Willie Smith is a unique and interesting character in a world of the sweet and the simple; we hope you will fall in love with him as we have.’’
Willie Smiths’ Organic Cider is a product for those who enjoy a return to simple pleasures. All the ciders use apples grown on the farm; the fruit is also crushed, fermented, aged and bottled without ever leaving the farm! You can be guaranteed that everything is 100 per cent natural. Andrew’s business partner in Willie Smith’s, Sam Reid, is formerly from Tasmania and firmly believes the cider will be on par with the best from France. ``I’d like to think Tasmania and Australia can be recognised as world class producers of cider and perhaps even do what the wine industry did and export our product back to where it originated,’’ Sam said.
TASTING NOTES WILLIE SMITHS ORGANIC CIDER 5.4% ABV APPEARANCE: Straw colour, cloudy AROMA: Complex aromas of rounded fresh apple and sweet spice FLAVOUR: Fresh apple flavours overlaying spicy complexity. Fullbodied, medium sweetness with a slight drying finish
WILLIE SMITHâ€™S FARMHOUSE PERRY 4.7% ABV APPEARANCE: Pale straw, cloudy AROMA: Lifted fresh pear with complex farmhouse aromatics FLAVOUR: Juicy pear flavours, balanced acidity and full mouthfeel
WILLIE SMITHS BONE DRY 6.9% ABV APPEARANCE: Pale straw AROMA: Spicy dry cider aromas with slight malolactic buttery notes FLAVOUR: Very dry complex flavours including green apple notes, spice and strong French oak mouth feel
R E D Y C S E R C A SMALL
HOUT COM IT W S R E ID C L A N IO IT D A TR
With more than 50 awards under their belt, including Australia’s Most Successful Small Producer at the 2017 Australian Cider Awards, you could say it has been a successful tree change for owners Gail and James Kendell. English born Gail and Australian born James prefer to take a winemaking approach to their ciders, using only the fresh juice that is pressed from apples and pears, creating different styles using the unique natural flavours already present in the cider variety apples grown in their orchard. It’s no wonder the likes of Max Allen are commenting, “Small Acres Cyder produces wonderfully authentic, full flavoured ciders using proper old fashioned cider apples.”
ciders without compromise; traditional English and French style ciders along with more contemporary Australian styles. There is no added water, no added sugar and no added flavourings in any of their ciders.
Gail grew up in the southwest English town of Bristol and after marrying an Aussie and moving to Australia in 2000, quickly found that the Australian cider market did not have the breadth of cider styles that she had enjoyed back in her home country.
“We only grow cider apples in our orchard. Using these varieties is the only way you can make the wine like structured, more European cider styles, that we produce,” said Gail.
James began his twenty-year career in the beverage industry while living in the United Kingdom. His one passion has always been cider and cider making, which in 2005 drove him to leave the corporate world and start Small Acres Cyder, now an award winning cidery situated in the apple growing region of Orange, NSW. Small Acres Cyder is committed to producing
Gail and James are fiercely local in their approach, growing their own cider variety apples and using only locally grown fruit to supplement supply from their own orchard.
“Cider doesn’t have to be sweet and fizzy, it can be as elegant and well structured as any white wine, as long as you start with the proper fruit and care about how you make it.” This approach has lead the Kendell’s to create a cider range that matches to food including: Three Methode Traditionnelle products, bottle fermented, hand riddled and disgorged (some
with up to 30 months on lees), that could rival the best sparkling wines. Three apple wines that draw on the inspiration of the still cider styles from the UK and Apfelwein styles of Germany, that match as well with pork as any white wine. An Ice Cider based on the techniques used by the Canadian Ice winemakers that is a musthave with apple-based desserts or a selection of soft cheeses. Australia’s first “Pommeau” a fortified cider taking over four years to make and using the oak barrel aging techniques used by the best port makers. “With all our ciders, the process starts well before scratting and pressing, it starts in the orchard nine months before an apple is picked, or pressed. Pruning is completed during the cold months of winter when the tree is dormant. Pruning helps shape the tree for the coming season, ensuring sunlight is let into into the canopy,” said James.
TASTING NOTES SMALL ACRES CYDER SOMERSET STILL 8% ABV APPEARANCE: Clear and bright AROMA: Somerset Still has a delicate aroma of earthy green apples FLAVOUR: Crisp green apple and farmhouse characters continue on the palate, finishing refreshingly clean and dry with some intriguing tannin grip to finish.
SMALL ACRES CYDER SPARKLING PERRY
SMALL ACRES CYDER POMMEAU 17% ABV
APPEARANCE: Deep caramel
APPEARANCE: The Sparkling Perry is a classic Hereford county English style vintage Perry
AROMA: Rich and heady
AROMA: Fragrant aromas of fresh pears and pear skin on the nose FLAVOUR: The palate has clean natural pear flavours, some ginger and spice on the mid palate carried by a fine bead and medium dry finish. Match with a walnut and pear salad
FLAVOUR: Pommeau has soft mellow apple fruitiness with mature toffee apple on the palate and hints of oak and spirit warmth to finish. It is a rich and rewarding cider best used as an aperitif or digestive
WITH MELISSA FETTKE Tassie based cidermaker Melissa Fettke didn’t always know she’d end up on the Apple Isle. In fact, it was winemaking that first caught her eye. But not one to say no to a new challenge, Melissa ended up changing her career to brewing and, eventually cider making. She’s passionate about apples and will tell you that there’s more to what she does than just tasting. explore DRINKS asked Melissa about what her job involves, what she’d change about industry if she could, and how she feels as a female in-cider. explore DRINKS: You were a winemaker before becoming a cider maker. Why did you make the switch? Melissa Fettke: Well, switching from wine to cider wasn’t entirely planned, but I’m very glad it happened. I was perusing an industry job website back in 2007 and came across an advert looking for a cider maker. I was intrigued and opened the ad, only to discover that it was for a brewery I had been enjoying beers from for many years. After that discovery was made, I didn’t hesitate to apply. Explaining the switch to my winemaking connections wasn’t easy, as cider wasn’t seen as a serious career move. But the opportunity to develop a new product from scratch and to be one of the industry leaders was too great an opportunity to miss. At that time in Australia, the ciders readily available were Mercury and Strongbow, so releasing a new cider into the mainstream market, from 100% fresh apple juice, was a fantastic thing to be a part of. Brewing beer was a side benefit of becoming the cider maker, as it helped me integrate into the new role within the brewery. The knowledge and skills I gained from the ten years I was in the brewing industry have proved highly beneficial since moving back to the wine industry to make cider. eD: Can you tell us about the company you work for now? MF: Winemaking Tasmania is a unique production facility dedicated to making premium wine and cider on behalf of our orchard and vineyard brand owner clients. Every wine or cider we make is unique; we don’t have set recipes in place for all the fruit we get to fit into, we tailor each and every beverage to represent the provenance of its source.
EXPL AINING THE SWITCH TO MY ’T EASY, WINEMAKING CONNECTIONS WASN IOUS AS CIDER WASN’T SEEN AS A SER NIT Y C AREER MOVE. BUT THE OPPORTU OM TO DEVELOP A NEW PRODUCT FRE SCRATCH AND TO BE ONE OF TH EAT AN INDUSTRY LEADERS WAS TOO GR OPPORTUNIT Y TO MISS. We have a diversity of cider clients who each have a different number of cider styles in their portfolio. Apart from the standard apple and pear ciders, we also make a couple of ciders flavoured with cherry or raspberry juice.
MF: Formal training for a cider maker is not available in Australia. I studied oenology at Adelaide University, and have applied my knowledge to make cider. Lots of my knowledge in cidermaking has been through trial and error, so I am continually learning.
eD: Is there a particular style of cider that you prefer making?
eD: There are a lot of different apples and styles of cider available now. What are some basic tips for finding a style of cider that suits your individual tastes?
MF: The style of cider that I tend to make the most of is modern medium-sweet cider, that is cider made from readily available table apples, with a mid-level of residual sweetness remaining in the product. There isn’t a particular style I like making more than others, I’m just happiest when I get to have a bit of fun and a few experimental mini-ferments on the go. You never know where these small batches will lead. eD: For those that might think your job consists of drinking cider all day, what’s really involved in the work of a cider maker? MF: Logistics. Lots of logistics. Yes, there’s tasting involved, but the reality is that you’re continually planning workload, managing fruit intake, crushing and ferments, and coordinating the final packaging of the product. eD: How many years of training does it take to become a cider maker?
MF: Honestly, just go out and try cider. Simply because one brand isn’t what you like doesn’t mean that cider isn’t for you in general. The beauty of most ciders is that they come in small bottles, so it’s not a huge investment to go and try a multitude of styles from different producers and regions. I believe there’s a cider out there to suit every taste, you just need to be willing to find it. eD: Would you say that Tasmanian apples are Australia’s best for cider making? MF: Australian apples from reputable apple growing regions are all great for making cider, however, Tasmania is known as the Apple Isle for a reason. eD: If you could change something about the cider industry in Australia, what would it be? MF: I would love to see more people committed to growing apples exclusively for the cider industry. Currently, the majority of apples used for cider are juicing apples,
which is essentially a waste stream of the table apple industry. When cider isn’t considered a valuable product adding to a waste stream of another industry (table apples), then cider will be taken more seriously as a beverage and an industry as a whole. eD: There doesn’t seem to be too many women making cider. Can it be a bit of a ‘blokey’ industry? MF: I’ve honestly never noticed it being a blokey industry. Sure, there might be more males making wine, beer and cider than females, but when you’re all working towards the same goal – to make the best product you possibly can – everyone is welcoming and willing to share information. eD: What are the top cider events that our readers should get to? MF: Compared to beer and wine, there currently aren’t a lot of cider specific events, however, it would be unusual not to see cider producers at beer, wine and food events nowadays. The best place to find out about upcoming events that include cider is online at www.cideraustralia.org.au/events eD: Sitting down for a well-deserved glass at the end of your week, what would be your go-to drop currently? MF: It all depends on the day as to what I want.
50 SHADES OF Like a row of trees in autumn â€“ slowly, and then more quickly changing colour - the myriad of red wine varietals we all enjoy offer us a gamut of colours, weights, textures and flavours, in that reassuringly and unpredictable manner that Mother Nature prefers. WORDS BEN CANAIDER
And at this time of year - following the horrors of summer’s anti-red wine diktat - all good thinking men, women and others put what’s left of their minds to the joys of those transitional, inter-season reds. Red wines that help you move through autumn at a slow speed, ready for the more powerful reds of winter. What a joy it is to live at autumn time. There are a number of red varietals, regional wines, and styles that offer us guidance and protection at this time of year. Wines that - given their winemaking - can hint more at texture and balance rather than power and weight. To wit.
PINOT NOIR Autumn or not, some of us can drink pinot every day of the year, particularly at luncheon. I know people - I might even be one of them - that put ice and soda in
‘affordable’ pinot noir over the summer months; but now into autumn you can be a grown-up again, and drink less-affordable pinot. Looking to home and to regions like the Yarra Valley is handy; so too New Zealand, but don’t think they can’t make pinot in other places. Like the Alto Adige in Italy.
SANGIOVESE Speaking of notions that might be described as “affordable”, goodness me there are some very old-fashioned Chianti wines around nowadays that cry out for autumn and mushrooms and risotto bianco and cheese. You know, those Chianti wines that are - well, how should I put this? – characterful? Yes, they have a few rustic faults. Old oak with a touch of dekkara, perhaps; but boy, come autumn, they seem to sing. Once again, price here is extremely reasonable.
SYRAH Yes, syrah, not shiraz. The New Zealanders around Hawke’s Bay were very clever some years ago when they decided to label their shiraz varietal ‘syrah’ - hinting that such wine was more of a European sophisticate than another Antipodean leer. It set their wine apart, in terms of branding and marketing, but it also provided a useful point of real difference. NZ syrah is more perfumed, peppery and lighter bodied. Certainly, drink Barossa shiraz in the winter, but drink NZ syrah in the fall.
TEMPRANILLO This red wine varietal is extraordinarily stylistic, with multiple personalities, all depending on where it is from, and how it is made, and how much time it has had in the bottle. Younger wines suit autumn, as they show a good balance of fruitiness and spice
and tobacco. Tempranillo’s tannins need that more evidently sweeter, wild strawberry fruit too, to help keep the wine from being too gruff for autumn luncheons. But it is tempranillo’s ability to so deftly combine something of cabernet’s tannins with a dab of shiraz’s spice, some of grenache’s fruitiness, and a heightened aromaticity that is almost as powerful and alluring as pinot noir’s that makes it the perfect dance partner for any mixed gathering.
BLAUFRÄNKISCH Speaking of red wine varieties that - like tempranillo - offer some of the best snippets of other more famous grape varieties, the Austrian/German red blaufränkisch is such
a candidate. No wonder it is gaining a reputation among the cognoscenti. Here, we have a red that has pinot’s finesse, nebbiolo’s broad tannins, and the spice once again of a cool-climate shiraz. It’s been described as “slinky yet firm,” which I think is a perfect way to describe this moreish yet very grown-up red. Look for it on wine lists, or get your hands on an Australian (yes, Australian, not Austrian) example from Hahndorf Hill in the Adelaide Hills. It’s a superb wine.
GAMAY I once knew a wine man who thought that the entire Beaujolais AC of southern Burgundy was a waste of good golf courses.
He hated the wine. Gamay is the ignoble cousin of pinot noir, and flourishes to Burgundy’s south. It has traditionally been associated with spring drinking, but I think autumn suits it better, particularly the 10 Beaujolais-Villages: Brouilly, Chenas, Chiroubles, Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie, Julienas, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Regnie, and St-Amour. Indeed, a good Moulin-a-Vent can rival affordable pinot noir. When autumn might still have a few sunny and bright, warm days, this is an effortless wine for a long luncheon. It almost doesn’t count...
When autumnal nights gather, you need a wine that’s a beacon, but with a weight that’s not overbearing. Fleshy, spicy, acidic, and with just enough tannin to remind you that you’re drinking red wine, this eastern Italian varietal has found a few good homes in Australia - particularly with the Calabria family in Griffith. Montepulciano is almost the perfect background noise red wine - it suits every sort of food flavour; it’s forgiving from vegetables to grilled meats, to heavier, oily fish too. Sardines. I kid you not. We all need more of it.
Ah. Now here’s a conundrum. A red wine that looks positively see-through when compared to most red wine varieties, but packs a huge aromatic punch; it has long, broad, demanding yet enjoyable tannins; and it has l-e-n-g-t-h. Nebbiolo - the name - derives from the local Italian word for fog. Because it is foggy in Barolo and Barbaresco. Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness… But it is late autumn drinking, when the mild, still days are fading, and the light is being lost at an earlier time each evening, and there’s something a little waning about moving into winter. Again.
DISCOVER VICTORIA’S HIDDEN GEM:
THE MOORABOOL VALLEY WINE REGION A burgeoning food and wine region in a pocket of Victoria; many people have probably never heard of the state’s newest tourist trail. WORDS KIRSTIE BEDFORD
Dinner at Clyde Park to launch the Moorabool Valley Taste Trail
Clyde Park line-up
Austins & Co winemaker John Durham
The ‘strawbale winery’ at Lethbridge
Scott Austin and son Spencer
The Moorabool Valley, tucked away north-west of Geelong, is one of Australia’s finest cool climate wine regions and has been creating quality wines for decades, but has never had the quantity of both food and wine producers to justify its own trail – until now.
It means when you visit the area, you’ll be able to personally meet the owners of the wineries who will happily talk you through why this region is punching well above its weight and producing wines that are winning accolades both here and internationally.
Tourism Great Geelong and The Bellarine says the new Moorabool Valley Taste Trail will help cement this flourishing region firmly in the minds of gastronomic visitors.
Among those are former PHD scientists, Ray Nadeson and Maree Collis, from Lethbridge Wines, voted as Geelong’s Best Small Cellar Door by Gourmet Traveller Wine and gold winners at the Sommelier Wine Awards in London. They produce the signature wines the region is renowned for, pinot noir and chardonnay, and also a blueprint series of Italian varieties that you can taste in the purpose-built strawbale winery.
The trail features many of the region’s boutique winemakers, who say the authenticity of the producers and winemakers in the region - who came here because of the quality of the soil, not a pre-established tourist market - will be a key differentiator to others.
Maree says their success has been due to a philosophy of maintaining the quality of the soil.
“The idea of sustainability was evident to us from the beginning, and so we’ve always applied biodynamic principles. From our point of view, it’s about looking after the environment, because that way we can make better wine.” Just down the road in Bannockburn is Clyde Park Vineyard and Bistro, which sits at the top of a hill with stunning views across the vines and rolling hills beyond. One of the earlier vineyards in the region, Clyde Park was planted in 1979 and now has 40 acres of vines. Run by Terry Jongebloed and wife, Sue Dixon, they too are focused on sustainable practices, such as using solar panels in the winery, farming free-range chickens whose eggs they use in the restaurant, and cultivating their own organic compost, which goes on the vines.
A stone’s throw away, Scott Austin and wife Belinda, are the second generation of Austins & Co., and while the third generation are too young to do much more than stomp on grapes, Scott and wife Belinda hope their young children will one day get involved. Here it’s not only a winery experience, with a 150-acre vineyard and a pop-up cellar door, but you’ll also get a farm experience with sheep roaming freely. Scott also has plans to convert the wool shed into a cellar door later this year. He says that while the new trail is a great way to educate people about their story and build brand awareness, it’s also much more. “People are out here because they love the lifestyle and what they produce, so it’s as much about giving back to the community as it is about building a sustainable business you can pass down to future generations.” His parents are still heavily involved in the property, with his father running the farm and
his mother ensuring they remain top of mind in high-end restaurants. Further north in Anakie is the 45-acre vineyard Del Rios, where vines were planted on the western slopes of the ancient volcano Mount Anakie, and you can taste tapas homemade by the Spanish owners. Here everything is done inhouse, from the estate grown grapes, which are handpicked and hand-pruned, to the bottling and labelling. Heading back towards town, just out of the city of Geelong, is Provenance Wines, located on the banks of the Barwon River at the historic bluestone Barwon Paper Mill. Built in the 1870s, the mill is an emerging wine, food and arts precinct, and Provenance will be centre stage when it opens later this year. While you can’t walk amongst the vines, there’s a chance to experience a brand new concept for Geelong - an urban winery, where you can see the end of the winemaking process and take in a bit of art at the local galleries while you’re there.
VISIT Lethbridge Wines owners and partners Ray Nadeson and Maree Collis
LETHBRIDGE WINES Open: Monday-Friday 11am-3pm Weekends 11am-5.30pm Address: 74 Burrows Road, Lethbridge Tel: 03 5281 7279 www.lethbridgewines.com CLYDE PARK VINEYARD AND BISTRO Open: Cellar door, MondaySunday 11am-4.30pm Bistro, Monday-Friday 10.30am3pm Saturday 11am-3pm Sunday 11am-5pm Address: 2490 Midland Hwy, Bannockburn Tel: 03 5281 7274 www.clydepark.com.au AUSTINS & CO Open: By appointment Address: 870 Steiglitz Road, Sutherlands Creek Tel: 03 5281 1799 www.austinswines.com.au DEL RIOS Open: Cellar door, Weekends 11am-5pm Restaurant, Weekends 12pm4pm Address: 2290 Ballan Rd, Anakie Tel: 03 5284 1221 www.delrios.com.au PROVENANCE WINES Open: By appointment Address: 100 Lower Paper Mills Road, Fyansford Tel: 03 5222 3422 www.provenancewines.com.au
MEET SAMANTHA PAYNE Like the majority of us, Samantha Payne seriously loves wine. Although, unlike most, she’s taken this love and turned it into a successful career spanning over a decade. The sommelier, wine consultant and communicator has held the position of head sommelier at some of Sydney’s best restaurants, including Manly Pavilion, 4Fourteen and China Lane, and has consulted on a number of the city’s most high profile wine lists, such as The Governor’s Kitchen at the Museum of Sydney, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art. explore DRINKS sat down with Samantha recently to find out what her daily grind looks like and why and how she started in the wine business, as well as to learn some tricks and tips on how to pick the perfect drop. explore DRINKS: How did you first get into the wine business? Samantha Payne: I’ve been working in the wine business in various facets since I was 18, when I started part-time at Vintage Cellars to pay my way through university. At the time, I was studying for a degree in Art History, because I wanted to be an art critic/museum curator. Fast forward to the end of my degree, and I had fallen in love with the wine industry; the people, the wines, hearing the stories about how winemakers get grapes into the bottle, its symbiosis with food... I was hooked. I then decided I wanted to become a sommelier – because let’s be honest, they’ve got the best access to wine – and use that knowledge to write and create films about wine.
eD: For consumers who may think that your job consists of drinking wine all day, what’s really involved in the job of sommelier? SP: Spreadsheets. Many, many Excel spreadsheets. I currently write eight different wine lists all across Sydney for various clients, and at the end of the day, a well-balanced and well-thought-out wine list is a profitable wine list. I also have a huge focus on staff training and wine education at all of the places I write for, because when I’m not on site, the floor team is the spokesperson for that wine list. They guide the guest through the myriad of options to create a great dining experience.
eD: How many years of training/stages does it take to become an accredited sommelier? SP: I think it’s safe to say, when you love wine as much as I do, you never stop learning or training your palate in the intricacies of wine, and a lot of that includes ‘on the job’ training and tasting with your peers. For something a little more formal, the Court of Master Sommeliers in Australia offers one intake per year for The Introductory Sommelier and Certified Sommelier Certificates, while the Advanced Sommelier Certificate is held once every two years. You then have the option of tackling the beast that is the Master Sommelier diploma. eD: What is the most common mistake consumers make when picking their wines? SP: They don’t take into consideration the food they’re eating with the wine. By all means drink what you love, but understand that the big, tannic wine you picked is going to drown out the oysters you’ve ordered. eD: What are some basic tips consumers can follow to pick the right wine when ordering out at a restaurant? SP: I have a foolproof guide that I teach to all my staff, which I call the ‘three golden questions’. These three simple questions can help anyone deconstruct any wine list, from anywhere in the world, in under 30 seconds. 1. Do you want red or white? (That eliminates 50% of the wine list) 2. Do you want something lighter in style or richer/heavier in style? (There goes another 25%) 3. Do you want something more fruit-driven or savoury?
These three questions will get you to a point where you’ve eliminated 75% of the wine list and you’re left with a much smaller, more manageable section to decide from. Or, this is where your friendly sommelier can come in and make a few recommendations based on your preferences and what you’re eating.
in general, with the surge of wine events that promote the education of what’s in your glass, to more events and dinners showing the symbiotic nature of food and wine. It’s not about abstaining, but drinking in moderation, and sharing a collective experience around wine that will drive this industry forward.
eD: There are a wealth of new varietals on the market at the moment. Any tips for people looking to try something new, but not sure where to start?
eD: Sitting down for a well-deserved glass at the end of the week, what would be your go-to drop currently?
SP: Start with something that’s familiar to you. That could be a blend of a grape variety you recognise with one that you don’t, or your favourite producer who’s made a wine style you’ve never tried before, or even a region you know but that’s producing a grape you’ve never heard of before i.e. mencia from McLaren Vale. eD: What’s the weirdest question someone’s ever asked you about being a sommelier? SP: It’s not so much a weird question but a frequent one, “Are you just drunk all the time?” and the answer is no, I’m not. Working and travelling as much as I do, I have a healthy appreciation for what wine and other alcohol does to the body, and I try to promote moderation as much as I can in my daily life. This includes upholding responsible service of alcohol when I’m working on the floor. eD: What do you think will be the next big trend in wine drinking habits in Australia? SP: I think we’re going to start to see a big shift in the way wine is consumed, especially the format. We’re seeing the re-introduction of premium versions of cask wine both here and globally, meaning you’re not urged to drink a 750ml bottle in an evening because in sealed bags it will last for weeks. A lot of wineries are now bottling in 500ml for those same reasons. Also how we approach our drinking culture
SP: Anything white and on the aromatic spectrum. In particular, I’m loving the experimental chardonnay/sauvignon blanc blend from Stefano Lubiana aged in Amphora. It’s bright, textural and has the most delicate acidity that reverberates on the palate. I have to keep asking people to smuggle me back some from Tasmania, because we can’t get it on the mainland. eD: If not wine, what are you drinking? SP: Aperol sours. Can’t get enough of them. eD: There seem to be a tonne of winefocused events over the calendar year that consumers can go to. In your opinion, what are the top events that consumers shouldn’t miss? SP: Nationally, you can’t go past Pinot Palooza – one of the best run events in the country, and some would say in the world. It’s not just for lovers of pinot noir, it’s a great way to ease yourself into a relationship with pinot. Rootstock in Sydney, for those wanting to understand about minimal intervention and the new wave of Australian winemaking. Lastly, the Wine de Jour series created by myself and Glen Cassidy from Cake Wines cellar door, where we aim to explore misconceptions around wine styles like rosé and skin-contact white wines in a fun and engaging way.
THIS IS NO FAD:
Discover Kombucha THE ANCIENT FERMENTED TONIC
Once the elixir of hippies and health nuts, kombucha has been thrust into the limelight of the mainstream in recent years. The fermented tea drink is fast surpassing soft drink sales, with the kombucha market poised to grow by 25% each year through to 2020. But where did this functional beverage come from and why is it so popular nowadays? explore DRINKS looks at the origins of kombucha, how itâ€™s made, and breaks down its supposed health benefits.
As alcohol cannot be sold in supermarkets or other unlicensed premises in Australia, the same rule applies.
Although skeptics tout kombucha as the latest lifestyle fad, the beverage actually has its roots in ancient China, with evidence suggesting locals were drinking the substance 2,200 years ago to detoxify the system and increase energy levels. With the expansion of trade routes across Tibet and up into Russia, tales of the legendary ‘tea of immortality’ spread and kombucha soon found its way to Western Europe. The 1960s saw the first spike in Western kombucha sales, as a Swiss study claimed that the drink was beneficial for gut health. It seems these believed benefits particularly strike a chord with today’s consumers, passionate about current health and sustainability trends. But do the facts really stack up? Kombucha is made from a mixture of strongly brewed tea, water and sugar that is exposed to a symbiotic culture of acetic acid (vinegar), bacteria and yeast, referred to as ‘the scoby’. After the culture is added, the mixture is left at room temperature for three to four weeks while the scoby eats away at the sugar and caffeine and converts the polyphenols - found in tea, fruits and vegetables - into organic compounds. The final result? A lightly sparkling, living, probiotic-rich beverage that has a pleasantly fruity and slightly acidic flavour, with a mild vinegary aftertaste. It’s well known that probiotics are great for the immune system and overall gut health, so it’s not a far stretch to deduce that the microorganisms kombucha imparts to the body probably do help the system. A wealth of anecdotal evidence agrees, with many consumers reporting increased energy and a clarity of mind.
There have been a number of ‘lab bench’ studies on kombucha, which suggest the drink may have antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties; could potentially be used for liver detoxification; and to treat high cholesterol and gastric ulcers. It’s early days on these findings, however, as these lab bench studies only use isolated cells and animals for testing, which means the results do not necessarily translate to humans. Although we can only say that some health benefits from kombucha are likely, it is certainly true that in comparison to other beverages, kombucha has a relatively low environmental footprint. The drink is almost always bottled in glass and it is commonly flavoured with compostable raw materials such as fruits, flowers, herbs and spices. Even the scoby is able to be composted and can be shared between producers. Kombucha can come in an array of styles to suit different tastes, including the delicate ‘jun’ kombucha brewed with green tea and honey. Nearly all styles are left unpasteurised as most producers agree that avoiding pasteurisation gives better results. Wait a second though, if kombucha is fermented, does that mean it’s alcoholic? Well yes and no. Trace amounts of alcohol are produced during the fermentation process, but national and US standards dictate that this alcohol level cannot be above 0.5% ABV (alcohol by volume). This all came about after US healthfood supermarket Whole Foods issued a total recall of kombucha products in 2010 when many were found with levels of alcohol over 0.5%. To sell as supermarket kombucha now, brands must implement alcohol minimisation processes to ensure that the ABV stays below the 0.5% requirement.
As a fermented product, this process (fermentation) can continue inside the kombucha even once bottled, and especially if not stored in the fridge. In order to ensure this continued fermentation doesn’t result in high alcohol levels, de-alcoholisation processes are performed at the time of brewing. However, in the US, many diehard kombucha fans from before the time of regulation believe that these processes reduce the health benefits of the drink and can negatively impact the flavour. This has given rise to the creation of kombucha beer, a low-alcoholic beverage marketed as a healthier alternative to traditional beers with its lower calorie count and glutenfree properties. Kombucha beer is generally created by letting the unpasteurised mixture sit, bottled for more than two weeks after the initial fermentation process, to contain any released CO2, encouraging carbonation and promoting fermentation (AKA a higher alcohol content). With the exponential growth in sales of the non-alcoholic version here in Australia, it may not be long until we see a few kombucha beers of our own hitting the market. In the end, the fact that kombucha is incredibly popular today - thousands of years after it was first created - really does speak volumes. A relatively healthy, environmentallyfriendly, flavoursome and diverse drink, there are no signs that this trajectory of growth is slowing down. Rather, it may be that we’re still lapping up this fermented favourite for a further 2,200 years. Read on as we speak to two leading, local kombucha brands about how they got started, their company ethos, and what makes them unique.
we are starting to pop-up in pubs, bars and independent cafés. To bring kombucha to a wider audience, we knew that getting the taste right was paramount.
THE BUCHA OF BYRON The Bucha of Byron was founded by three mates: Cam, James and Paul. Having worked in the beer industry together for years previously, they had often discussed leaving their then corporate jobs and creating their own beer. Fate would have it that after going their separate ways and spending years apart, the trio united once more to create a kombucha that reflects the lifestyle and flavours of their hometown of Byron Bay, NSW. explore DRINKS: Who is behind Bucha of Byron and how did it all begin? The Bucha of Byron: When our corporate careers took us out of the beer industry and to separate corners of the globe, it seemed like our dream to create our own beer had passed us by. With Cam in Hong Kong, James in New York and Paul in Byron Bay, a brew of a different type caught our eye.
Kombucha was becoming more prevalent at our respective posts and it struck a chord with all three of us who had all grown up with the smell of fermenting scobys in our kitchens as kids. We teamed up with Stone and Wood Brewing Co. to create the brew and share facilities. Two years on, The Bucha is building steadily and finding its place in cafés, restaurants, bars and pubs along the Eastern Seaboard of Australia. eD: What does The Bucha of Byron do differently to other kombucha producers? BB: We set out to make a great tasting kombucha that didn’t require you to be in the lotus position to enjoy it. We wanted to open up the benefits of kombucha to a new audience that might not have considered the drink previously. The brew and branding have been designed to be a viable substitute for both soft drink and alcoholic drinks. With this approach,
Taste is the most important thing for us. Many kombuchas can be a bit of a struggle to get through, so we worked very hard with the team at the Stone & Wood brewery to ensure that ours was a drink that people could genuinely enjoy. With its roots firmly in Byron Bay, The Bucha is made with only locally sourced ingredients and flavour varieties are based on the fruits, roots and herbs that are native to the Byron and Northern Rivers area. eD: Would you ever mix alcohol and kombucha together? BB: We sure would! Most weekends in fact! Kombucha is a great, low-sugar mixer that is extremely versatile. We’ve been working closely with Kevin Peters, the head of drinks at the Sand Hill Road group, to develop a whole range of delicious cocktails. Our staple is the Dirty Bucha, which is simply Lemon Myrtle Bucha, gin – preferably Brookie’s from Byron Bay, ice and fresh lime.
WILD KOMBUCHA BY BALLSY BREWING Ballsy Brewing is the creation of artist Lara Ball and her husband Matt, who is an eye surgeon. They produce Sydney’s fastest growing ontap ‘living’ beverage, Wild Kombucha. Their premium kombucha has even been picked up by the likes of chef Peter Gilmore, who worked with the team to develop a honey based brew available exclusively in Bennelong and Quay restaurants. Furthermore, in 2015, they launched Australia’s first kombucha bar where the kombucha can be bought on tap. Wild Kombucha is also stocked in around 40 other venues in NSW and QLD. The environmentally conscious pair has also ensured that consumers can buy reusable 500ml or 750ml bottles when purchasing their kombucha. explore DRINKS: Who is behind Wild Kombucha and how did it all begin?
friends and family decided to pursue our dream to create a product aligned with our principles and an experience to accompany it. Wild Kombucha is our signature product and Ballsy Brewing is a playful take on both our surname and the process of jumping headfirst into the beverage industry. One of the core aspects of our business is to be aware of our community impact and as such, we promote refilling our bottles off the tap as a takeaway. As well as this, the majority of our waste is either recycled or composted in the Glover St Community Garden in Callan Park – Sydney’s oldest community garden. The bottle refill concept has been very successful, to the point that we often discover hand labeled bottles with people’s names on them waiting for a fresh batch of kombucha down in Bondi! To say that is immensely satisfying is an understatement.
eD: What does Wild Kombucha do differently to other kombucha producers? WK: Everyone has different methods of kombucha production and we don’t know the specific methods of other producers, however, we can comment on what we pay particular attention to. We brew in small batches and we conduct a weekly check of each tank’s alcohol, acid and sugar profile. To my knowledge, we were the first company in Australia to routinely use in-house gas chromatography for alcohol measurement, allowing us to ferment to a point where there is a decent amount of organic acid produced, the likely beneficial part, without high alcohol levels.
eD: What does Wild Kombucha stand for? Wild Kombucha: Wild Kombucha by Ballsy Brewing was born after Matt and I returned from Maui, having been inspired by the vibrant energy of the Hawaiian Islands and the way we felt after drinking the local kombuchas. With my background in fine art and Matt’s in medicine, we learnt the art and science of the brew process, and after great feedback from
WK: Wild Kombucha, as a company, stands for creating the most authentic and enjoyable kombucha drinking experience possible. Traditional brew methods combined with modern scientific analysis allows us to craft a delicious beverage as naturally as possible, which we also believe has the best chance of being good for you.
We were the first company to put kombucha on tap on a traditional beer dispensing chilled line – in Bondi in 2014 – which then created a wave of companies following suit. We pioneered the concept of the dedicated kombucha bar in Australia, creating a cellar door style experience where it is possible to try a large range of different kombuchas as well as potentially meet us in person.
In Japan, informal pubs or bars are called izakayas, and they’re the perfect places to retreat to in Autumn. Traditionally small, darkened hole-in-the-walls, serving flavoursome morsels of karaage chicken or gyoza dumplings, and top-notch sakes; we’ve picked our favourite places emulating this experience in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. WORDS HANNAH SPARKS
FUJISAKI In Japan, the locals know that the best seafood restaurants are those where you can see the ocean from the table. And there’s no better match for good seafood than good sake. It’s as close as it gets at this modern Japanese restaurant and bar, home to one of Tokyo’s finest sushi chefs, views over Sydney Harbour, and a well-curated list of sakes. Now, here’s how to get the full Fujisaki experience: on arrival, start with one of the many impressive Japanese cocktails that use authentic, seasonal ingredients. We recommend the Yuzu for a slightly sweet, but light and refreshing place to start. Next, take a seat at the onyx stone raw bar for a mesmerising show of Ryuichi Yoshii’s culinary skills; but not without a glass of sake. Take your pick from sparkling, still and cloudy; rich and textural; aromatic and delicate; and even digestif sake, in the event you overindulge. Shop 2, 100 Barangaroo Avenue, Sydney, NSW 2000 T: 02 9052 9188 W: www.lotusdining.com.au/restaurant/fujisaki Opening hours: Lunch: Mon-Sun 12.00pm-3.00pm Dinner: Mon-Sun 6.00pm-10.00pm
KISUMÉ Kisumé, pronounced kiss-oo-meh, means a pure obsession with beauty, and that it certainly is. Almost everything that Kisumé produces turns out as a work of art. The design. The food. The drinks. My gosh. It’s no wonder this place gets such a hype. Starting with the look, Kisumé is split over three levels. Kuro Kisumé takes up the first floor, offering discrete private dining rooms and the Chablis Bar, Australia’s only one. On the ground floor and basement is Kisumé, the large sushi restaurant and bar that lets diners get so close to the chefs they could almost exchange breath. Here, a dark colour scheme striked with minimalism, clean lines and emotive photographs draw in spectators. But that’s not the only thing. Impeccably finished dishes and drinks urge even those disgruntled with social media to reach for their phones. Don’t go past their seasonal cocktails, bespoke sakes and if there’s any left, the exclusive and delicious Pure Kisumé Gin developed with Four Pillars. 175 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000 T: 03 9671 4888 W: www.kisume.com.au Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11.30am-late
NIHONSHU SAKE & SHOCHU BAR Looking for sake? Head to Nihonshu Sake and Shochu Bar. This place claims one of, if not the, most extensive sake lists in Melbourne. The last time we counted, there were over 60 on the menu, each accompanied by a bottle image and in-depth description, mirroring the staff’s unbeatable knowledge here. Don’t let their hipster vibe fool you. Not many Australians are well acquainted with the world of sake yet, and Nihonshu is the perfect place to start that journey. Feel free to ask for a recommendation or jump straight to the sake of the week, Nihonshu’s pick of some of the city’s best to wash down sashimi and delicious morsels from Izakaya Chuji next door.. 163 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000 T: 03 9663 8118 W: www.facebook.com/nihonshu.sake.bar Opening hours: Mon-Fri 5.00pm-12.00am Sat 6.00pm-12.00am Sun 6.00pm-12.00am
VISIT SAKE RESTAURANT & BAR If youâ€™re looking for somewhere for a quick lunchtime work meeting or easy catch up with friends, close to Brisbaneâ€™s CBD, try Sake Restaurant & Bar. A friendly, contemporary, fine dining Japanese restaurant and bar on the edge of the river, with plenty of long and small tables for groups or individuals. When we think of Sake Restaurant & Bar, we picture the cherry blossom tree in the centre, old sake barrels along the wall, and lots of fun and beautifully presented food and drink options. As the name suggests, sake is at the heart of this place. There are around 30 by the glass or carafe and 30 by the bottle, each accompanied by a handy descriptor. For the slightly more adventurous, try the sake explorer, a flight of three sakes. Or, for those newer to sake, try the blended options, mixed with fresh juice for a sweeter, more approachable taste. Then grab the lunchtime bento box. Level 1, 45 Eagle Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000 T: 07 3015 0557 W: www.sakerestaurant.com.au/eagle-st-pier Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.00am-8.00pm Sat 10.00am-8.00pm Sun 10.00am-6.00pm
SOKYO A venue that could be measured merely on its impressive sake list. Over five pages of Sokyo’s menu, which can only be described as a volume, is an unrivalled selection of 30 plus sakes, divided between individual 300ml bottles, 720ml for sharing and 1.8lt for parties. But that’s only the beginning. A rarity not just for Japanese bars in Australia, but even bars in Japan, Sokyo stocks several aged sakes. While often recommended to be enjoyed when fresh and young, aged sake is a fun experience. There’s also a choice of cheaper sakes enjoyed every day in Japan, as well as more expensive, but impressive, premium sakes for those wanting to indulge. Helpful descriptors are on hand too. Level G, The Darling, The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont, NSW 2009 T: 02 9657 9161 W: www.star.com.au/sydney/restaurants/ signature-fine-dining/sokyo Opening hours: Breakfast: Daily 7.00am-10.30am Lunch: Fri-Sat 12.00pm-2.00pm Dinner: Sun-Thurs 5.30pm-10.00pm Fri-Sat 5.30pm-10.30pm
SUSHIA IZAKAYA Where city life meets Japanese tradition. At Sushia Izakaya, strong industrial edges and the hustle and bustle of Perth diners surround a striking cherry blossom and communal tables. In fact, itâ€™s the varied seating at this popular venue that makes for quite the excitement. Choose to socialise with others at the long table, pull up a seat at the open kitchen and watch the teppanyaki hot plate and robata grill live in action, or enjoy beautiful Japanese-inspired cocktails at the top class bar. The presentation of both the food and drinks at Sushia Izakaya is impressive, to say the least. Think of fresh sushi resting on ice-laden plates and edible flowers dancing over cocktails. Also on the bar menu are over 20 sakes, including low grade, to top grade, and hot sake, perfect during autumn. They also serve Japanese whisky, umeshu, shochu, plenty of great wine and other spirits. Shop HLG103, Brookfield Place 129 St. Georges Terrace Perth, WA 6000 T: 08 9322 7771 W: www.perth.sushia.com.au Opening hours: Lunch: Mon-Fri 12.00pm-3.00pm Dinner: Mon-Thurs 6.00pm-11.00pm Fri 5.30pm-12.00am
THE RUM DIARIES:
MEET JOY SPENCE
As the world’s first female Master Blender and a role model to many, it seems apt that Appleton Estate’s Joy Spence was inspired to pursue her career path due to the guidance of a strong woman in her own life. Publishing Editor Ashley Pini spoke recently with Joy about her experience as an influential woman in the drinks industry and how she’s taken that position and become a leading example for both young women and Jamaica as a whole. Ashley Pini: Where did your passion for chemistry start and what drove you to study the science at university? Joy Spence: Well, I accidentally fell in love with chemistry when I was 13 because of my chemistry teacher. She was such an awesome teacher and she was also like a second mother to me. I would stay back in the evenings and help her to prepare the laboratory work for the upper school. So, I became very experienced, knowledgeable and advanced in chemistry. When I reached the fourth form, she died in childbirth. It was a very emotional time for me and I made a vow that I would become the best chemist possible in her honour. So that’s how I first considered my path in chemistry.
MEET After finishing school, I went to the University of the West Indies and pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, where I achieved first class honours. From there, I did some teaching/lecturing at my old high school and at the University of Technology, but I reached a point where I wanted to get some manufacturing and industry experience. So, I joined Tia Maria as a research chemist in 1979. However, at that stage, Tia Maria was a one-product operation, and I love to multi-task. I became very bored during the days, so they started getting me to do research chemist work in the mornings and PR in the evenings. J. Wray and Nephew, the parent company of Appleton, was actually located next door to Tia Maria at the time, and I used to look out the window at the lab during my days of boredom and watch all the activity that went on over there. So I sent my resume over to J. Wray and Nephew, went for an interview and two weeks later they offered me the position of Chief Chemist. This was all in 1981. From there, I started work under the previous master blender, Owen Tulloch, and that is when I fell in love with rum. Owen helped me to hone my sensory skills, he taught me the art of blending, and on his retirement in 1997, I was appointed Master Blender. AP: During your transition from Chief Chemist to Master Blender at Appleton Estate, did you find there were hurdles along the way or did you find this was quite a smooth progression? JS: I went through a range of different positions with the company. So from Chief Chemist, I went into a research and chemistry position, then I was appointed as General Manager of Technical and Quality Services – this meant I was responsible for chemistry, the lab operations, research and development, environment, and health and safety, so I covered a wide area of responsibility. Product development was definitely a key part of that. There were slight difficulties during this mobility because I was the only female at the managerial level of production. In that position, you have to stand firm and let everybody understand that you have the technical capabilities and you’re as good as any male. AP: You have received a lot of attention and become a role model for many people as the world’s first female Master Blender. Has that changed how you feel about your role and day-to-day work? JS: It hasn’t really changed how I feel about my role and my day-to-day work, but it has allowed me to promote an alternative way of applying chemistry in a male-dominated
industry. So I do a lot of motivational talks with female high school students, and I encourage them to think outside the box to recognise that there are professions out there that women can enter and become successful in, especially in areas that are considered to be male-dominated. AP: Do females have a lower university attendance rate than males in the West Indies? JS: Well, it is quite skewed in the Caribbean, because at university 70% of the population is female and 30% male. So it’s actually the opposite of what you might expect! But there are definitely still barriers, believe it or not. You still have areas where a woman will not be seen in that particular position. Although more and more females are now entering the boardroom and becoming managing directors, it’s not yet at the rate that we would like to see happen. AP: On to the rum side of things, in your role as Master Blender, are you able to evolve the style of the rum at all, or is your role to make sure consistency remains in place? JS: I maintain the consistency of the existing blend. I do not tweak the formulas of the existing blend, but for new expressions, I add my own flair and style to them. For example, the first rum I created was a 250 Anniversary Blend for Appleton Estate and then my next blend was the Appleton Estate Reserve Blend. For both, I wanted to create a sipping rum that was extremely versatile and had less powerful oak, but also had some spice to it, with rich vanilla, ginger and nutmeg notes. I tend to not produce rums that are very oaky in nature. AP: Once the rum is developed, do you now have to showcase that to the world through PR - are appearances now a big part of your role? JS: It is now a big part of my role because I’m also a Global Ambassador. A part of that role requires that I go to various countries to promote the Appleton Estate range of rums and do masterclasses with trade, influencers and, of course, some consumers. AP: Are you, therefore, a bit of a role model for Jamaica as a whole. You’re presenting Appleton, but are you also presenting Jamaica? JS: Yes, certainly. As a matter of fact, last year the Government of Jamaica bestowed the honour of the Order of Distinction, which is a national honour in recognition of my contribution to the promotion of Jamaica’s rum industry and brand Jamaica globally.
Gypsy Chair Cigar $290.00 www.ricefurniture.com.au
Autumn inspires introducing darker, warmer colours into our homes. Here are our favourite drink accessories and must-haves for entertaining. Treat yourself, or a friend, or a family member this Easter. *Prices may vary between retailer Halliday Wine Companion 2018 $39.99 www.dymocks.com.au
Fossilized Drink Coasters $88.00 www.satara.com.au
Copper Flask $34.00 www.wandpdesign.com
Harvest Acacia Wood Round Board $49.00 www.thedesignedit.com.au
Classic Arctican $19.95 www.corkcicle.com
Vionnet Oval Bar Cart $1005.00 www.globewest.com.au
12oz Gloss White Tumbler $22.95 www.corkcicle.com
R2 Designs Luxury Soy Candle $79.00 www.r2designs.com.au MWT Brown Leather Apron $395.00 www.top3.com.au
Canaveral Tripod Drinks Table $399.00 www.dovetaileddoublestitched.com.au
Hawthorn Pitcher $59.99 www.academyhomegoods.com.au
Dom Perignon ‘Tokujin Yoshioka’ Edition Vintage 2009 $259.99 www.danmurphys.com.au
Cocktail Kit $279.00 www.wandpdesign.com
White Faux Fur Throw $84.95 www.zanui.com.au
Whisky Wedge $17.95 www.corkcicle.com
Natural Weave Tablecloth $245.00 www.bigtablecloths.com.au
@EXPLOREDRINKS Weâ€™re always encouraging our readers to get out there and explore the wide world of drinks. Share your adventures with us by tagging @exploredrinks and weâ€™ll publish our favourites each issue.
LAST DRINKS Few American sporting events draw in spectators like the Kentucky Derby. One of the most exciting horse races of the year, the day calls for a refreshing drink in hand (traditionally a Mint Julep) and your best hat as you join other fans at your TV screen to watch “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sport.” Bring to life the Kentucky Derby in your home on 5 May with our delicious twist on the Mint Julep and no other than the official bourbon of the race, Woodford Reserve.
Kentucky Apple Makes 1 drink GLASS: Collins INGREDIENTS: 45ml Woodford Reserve Bourbon 15ml Elderflower cordial 60ml Cloudy apple juice 15ml Fresh lime juice 6 ‘Clapped’ mint leaves METHOD: Gently clap the mint leaves together to release the aroma; be careful not to bruise or break the leaves. Add to a shaker with the rest of the ingredients and shake together. Strain over an ice-filled glass and top with crushed ice. GARNISH: Bushy mint sprig and lime twist. Best served with tall paper straws.
DON’T STARE INTO YOUR PHONE. STARE INTO YOUR OLD FASHIONED. IT’S WAY MORE MYSTERIOUS.
The Perfect Single Old Fashioned Glass
We can all be a little classier. Dress better. Drink better. Raise the bar. So we asked the world’s leading barman to create the perfect cocktail glasses. Ladies and gentlemen, we present the Perfect Serve Collection. You’re welcome. spiegelau.com.au/perfectserve
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